SONA snippets according to Twitter
Following last night’s parliamentary State of the Nation Address for 2017 (SONA), the country seems to be as a member of the Democratic Alliance put it, ’broken’. These sentiments further echoed on Twitter as South Africans took to tweeting about the highs and lows of what is intended to an auspicious occasion on the country’s political calendar.
While the evening’s events started off with Twitter erupting with commentary on what those who attended wore.
It quickly turned into what some are deeming a common brawl, as members of the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) became vocal after they, in protest to the President and the speakers, called President Zuma a “constitutional delinquent”. This following the Nkandla scandal, as well as the Gupta debacle and more recently the controversial Public protector report.
Attention was then shifted to the military presence both in the house and on the parliamentary grounds, both of which according to both the EFF and the Democratic Alliance (DA) was unconstitutional as it stood in contrast to their constitutional right to the freedom of speech.
Member of parliament, dignitaries, international delegates and other esteemed guests looked on as members of the EFF and the private security company came to physical blows as they were ordered to be removed from the House. Among those seated and watching was ex South African president Thabo Mbeki. This was where the plot started unravelling, as pepper spray was apparently used, affecting many of the MP’s and guests seated in the gallery.
After an hour delay the President finally took to the podium and began his speech, which touched on some key issues currently being faced, but the Twittersphere were as usual one up.
Other highlights were the points made around the increasing addition of South African families to the Eskom national grid and the intent to address the income disparities amongst racial groups. But one can’t help but think that these points were lost against the backdrop of the earlier violence that occurred in the House.
The DA have according to reports since said that they intend on taking the “unconstitutional behaviour” of the ruling party up in court.
Despite the difference in political standings and opinion, South African citizens across the board seem to still be in shock after what proved to be quite the spectacle.