South Africa: SONA Debate Descends Into Crude Electioneering


If Tuesday's parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of four days ago showed anything, it was that the 8 May election day is front of mind. In a rambunctious almost six-hour affair, with every politician on either side of the House claiming they had the right plan for the country, there was no doubt the chase for voters' Xes on the ballots has kicked into high gear.

"Vote ANC", "Vote DA", "Vote EFF".

That's how blunt and obvious it got at times in the joint sitting in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

After ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu ended his speech with "Let's Grow South Africa together. Vote ANC on the 8th of May 2019", Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was a tad more diplomatic, but no less confident. "We are going to win the elections because we are very honest. We will tell our people what we have achieved; we will tell our people where we have gone wrong," she said amid loud heckles from the opposition benches. From the EFF MPs came the rotating hand signals that soccer coaches use to indicate a substitution.

DA national leader Mmusi...

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