Presidency welcomes SONA input

Published Feb 4, 2015


Pretoria - All suggestions posted on social networking sites for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address are being taken into account, the presidency said on Wednesday.

“A team in the presidency is indeed monitoring these comments and collating them for the attention of the president,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

“The views are being taken into account and we look forward to more inputs.”

Last week, the presidency called on South Africans to post on Twitter and Facebook what they would like to hear Zuma to speak about in his address on February 12.

The presidency said at the last count on Wednesday morning 24,690 people had viewed the invitation on the official Twitter page and there were more than 1000 comments.

The post on the Facebook page reached 94,496 people and elicited 1278 comments and suggestions.

Judging from the comments, if South Africans were are not asking Zuma to resign they were calling for dagga to be legalised.

A thread of people on Twitter repeated: “(at)PresidencyZA: Why not legalise cannabis to increase revenue & save tax Rands by freeing up crowded prisons & courts? #DaggaDebate #SONA2015.”

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who died last year of cancer, had lobbied for the use of alternative cancer therapies, including medical marijuana.

Calls for Zuma to resign were also high on Twitter users' request lists.

User (at)CJSteyl wrote: “Before I go to bed I'd just like to remind the good folk at (at)PresidencyZA to include Jacob Zuma's resignation in his #SONA2015. Thanks.”

Another user (at)mzukisij wrote: “Zuma must resign before the motion and #SONA2015 maybe sober people of this country will forgive him.”

(at)Matheb_Ohms wrote: “(at)PresidencyZA on your #SONA2015 please address us about when you will #PayBackTheMoney and about when you will resign as President. #MyInput.”

On Facebook most people asked Zuma to resign and pay back the money spent on non-security upgrades to his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Comrade Kamogelo Ramoloto wrote on Facebook: “Mr President tell us whether you going to pay cash, EFT or through Shoprite money market... am talking about Nkandla money and what would my best Valentine's present before my girlfriend gives me would be your resignation letter.”

Craig Edmund Fitz Eustace said he would like to hear Zuma say:

“I am so ashamed of what I have done, said and not done as your leader, that I wish to fall on my sword like any real loser of a leader would do. I am sorry.”

Motlatsi Mfanakithi asked that he say: “I hereby tender my resignation and I ask for South Africans to forgive me for my actions, and propose e-tolls to be scrapped, tighten security of all South Africans... Furthermore, I thank you all for making me aware my leadership has divided this wonderful country.”

However, not everyone wanted to see Zuma go.

Tsiane Dithebe asked South Africans to respect the president.

“Please please please... let us respect the President of the Republic of South Africa. I don't want to comment on what he must say. Just want to request fellow South Africans to respect the old man,” he wrote on the presidency's website.

On Twitter (at)Rethabilem said: “President Jacob Zuma must use the state of the nation address to win the hearts & soul of South Africans #SoNA2015.”

Others asked that unemployment, housing, and corruption be addressed.


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