Sparks are expected to fly in Parliament when political parties debate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA.. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Sparks are expected to fly in Parliament when political parties debate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA.. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Showdown expected as parties set to raise issues at SONA debate

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Cape Town - Sparks are expected to fly in Parliament on Tuesday when political parties debate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The ANC, EFF and other parties are expected to raise the issue of former president FW de Klerk after he stated that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

The EFF on Monday rejected De Klerk’s apology following a political storm on his comment.

De Klerk had come under pressure from various sectors of society including the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, political parties and civil society organisations.

The EFF had raised the issue of De Klerk’s presence in the SONA last Thursday following his comments in an interview.

Former President Thabo Mbeki also weighed into the debate and said he had asked De Klerk about it and he claimed not to know about it. 

Mbeki said he was going to send De Klerk the UN Convention on the issue.

Parties are also expected to raise the issue of the energy crisis in the country. In his SONA, Ramaphosa vowed tough actions would be taken against Eskom.

Eskom is on Tuesday also appearing before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts over its finances.

The power utility is in debt and Cosatu’s rescue plan to halve its debt has been criticised.

Members of Parliament are also expected to ask Ramaphosa about how he plans to tackle rising crime levels, corruption and the unemployment rate in the country.

Parties have warned that evidence has emerged from the Zondo Commission into state capture but no action was taken against those implicated.

The president will also face questions on his plans to fight corruption at all levels of government.

Ramaphosa is expected to also face questions on crime as police statistics have shown that crime remains high. 

The Auditor-General has reported growing irregular expenditure at national, provincial and local levels without action for several years. However, a new law has given the AG powers to rein in those involved in corrupt acts.

Political Bureau

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