President Zuma’s 2016 State of the Nation Address: Maybe Too Little Too Late

SOUTH AFRICA - Report 12 Feb 2016 by Iraj Abedian

President Zuma’s State of Nation Addresses (SONA) during his second term in office have become synonymous with drama, chaos, insults and political entertainment inside and outside the Parliament. His personal conduct in office, his ruling political party’s support for him, and his government’s performance are all targets for sensational democratic politicking.

Inside the Parliament, political parties, led by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), insist on demonstrating disrespect for him on the one hand, and demanding accountability to the country’s Constitution on the other. Once again, this year, EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) were ordered out of the opening session by the Speaker of the Parliament for their colorful language and outright accusation of large scale corruption and abuse of office by President Zuma, related to his own and his family’s business relationships with the Gupta Family. Terms such as Zupta and #ZuptaMustFall are gaining rapid popularity in social media, in part due to the ongoing and rising allegations of “the capture of the state by the Gupta Family” through their undisputed close relationship with the President. It is alleged that the Gupta family had a big hand in the latest scandal of Zuma’s administration, dubbed as “the NeneGate”, referring to the dramatic sacking of Minister Nene, the previous Minister of Finance in December 2015.

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