President Jacob Zuma. Picture: EPA
Postponement of Thursday’s Sona is a watershed for democratic South Africa, but also not a complete surprise.

What was indeed a surprise was the reasons offered.

Parliament’s presiding officers, Thandi Modise and Baleka Mbete, claim being dismayed that the past four years, disruptions have been a characteristic of Sona.

“Developments this year, particularly the calls for disruption and/or postponement of the Joint Sitting, have therefore caused us great concern. We have regrettably come to the conclusion that there is little likelihood of an uneventful Joint Sitting. With this in mind, we decided to approach the president to propose that we postpone the Joint Sitting in order to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in Parliament. When we met the president, we then learnt that he was already writing to Parliament to ask for the postponement of Sona.”

This is absolute bollocks. How could they not know Zuma has lately come under immense pressure to resign and this is the real reason for the postponement.

Zuma’s office said he requested the postponement “due to certain developments”, which make it not conducive to have Sona.

From the two statements it is clear Zuma and the presiding officers held prior discussions about Sona for them to come to the same conclusion.

Not all South Africans are stupid and appreciate having their intelligence undermined. If there were concerns about disruptions, what exactly will be different at the now postponed Sona?

The facts are that Zuma is under pressure from inside and outside the ANC. They want him to go, and rightly so. This man has become an embarrassment to his party and the country. His presidency has been marked by allegations of corruption, a floundering economy and some dysfunctional state institutions.

This president has caused untold damage to his nation. The ANC is to hold a special national executive meeting today, ostensibly to discuss Zuma’s future. This meeting was obviously necessitated by his stubbornness to stay put, despite the writing being on the wall.

It is time ANC NEC members put the interests of the country before that of the party. The country has endured enough of this failed president. They must tell Zuma to leave and to leave immediately.

Cape Argus Editorial