South Africa: A Barren, Weak and Empty SONA

opinion

Ramaphosa is an old-school socialist who labours under the stubborn belief that the government is able to provide essential goods and services better than the private sector can do. That he is wrong would not even occur to him.

Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters, who collectively held up the start of President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) by more than an hour and a half, scored a few telling goals.

Neatly distracting from the scandals among their own, they challenged the presence in Parliament of former president and deputy president FW de Klerk and insisted that Ramaphosa fire Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan over load shedding.

Leaving aside the validity of their points, that they should have been afforded the space for such cynical political grandstanding reflects badly on the Parliamentary rules, which apparently afford no special protection to an occasion such as SONA.

Anyone who raises a point of order which is not a point of order, such as demanding that the president dismiss a Cabinet minister, ought to be ejected from the sitting forthwith. Anyone who raises a point of order on which the speaker has already ruled, such as the presence or...

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