Maimane slams Ramaphosa for failing to condemn the EFF's behaviour at SONA
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Johannesburg - The leader of Movement for One South Africa, Mmusi Maimane has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for failing to effectively use Thursday’s state of the nation address (SONA) to condemn the unruly behaviour that dominated the night.
Maimane was forced out of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in October last year allegedly because he was too critical of Ramaphosa whom some funders and influential constituency of the party viewed as one of their own. Maimane said Ramaphosa also failed to outline how he will take the country out of the economic quagmire it is in.
Speaking to Independent Media on Sunday, he said Ramaphosa should have deviated a bit from his prepared speech to condemn the behaviour of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which delayed proceedings for over an hour.
The party wanted the house to eject the last apartheid president, FW De Klerk and also it wanted public enterprises minister, Pravin Gordhan out.
“I think it was amiss that the president didn’t make any comment about that (EFF’s disruption), it’s like it is normal, it’s not normal Parliament is a place that communicates values and those values must be translated to people,” he said in reference to EFF’s MP Vuyani Pambo who told Ramaphosa to sit down.
According to Maimane, Ramaphosa should have spoken about the apartheid system which both the UN and the Organisation of African Unity labelled as a crime against humanity.
“I think it was also a missed opportunity to remind people apartheid was a crime against humanity, it oppressed citizens,” he said, adding that Ramaphosa should have also reminded people about the country’s reconciliation programme.
The debate around apartheid is heating up after De Klerk recently denied it was a crime against humanity. That has irked several people and parties in the country who are claiming that his views show that he is not sorry that millions of people suffered under the system and thousands lost their lives.
On Saturday, Maimane was on a 24-hour news channel, Newzroom Afrika where he pulled no punches. He said Ramaphosa was becoming more like American presidents who are forever smiling and giving interviews aboard presidential jets.
“One of the things I have started to notice now is how American our president is starting to look. We have images of him mounting Inkwazi, we now have briefings outside the presidential jet, we now have the images of the president smiling as if he is always smiling. Thursday night (SONA) was not a smiling moment,” he told the news channel.