I’d hoped that the 2015 State of the Nation Address would leave a deeply bitter sweet feeling for Msholozi. Bitter over how his cat in the hat at parliament’s helm would predictably employ the usual strong arm of the law to put out the red beret wearing fires that her beloved ANC had started in an environment of condoned and celebrated corruption. But hopefully sweet regarding his responses to the social media campaign launched by the presidency asking what the people on the street most desired to hear No 1 talk about.
Alas, all we got were buckets full of bitterness that’ll long be the legacy of the taint Jacob Zuma leaves on our nation. Despite being plagued with cell phone signal blockages, audio issues, parliamentary staff strikes, camera feed cuts and a water shortages; the fun was done within the first hour of SONA kicking off. Julius and crew, after an earlier fallout among the EFF, delivered as promised. #PayBackTheMoney ambitions were fast stomped out as the red brigade were punched and scrummed out of parliament by armed police forces while the SABC’s cameras spoiled us with an exceedingly long shot of the cat in the hat putting on a sour face to the chorus of the non-aired scuffle taking place in front of her on parliament’s floor.
Not long after the EFF’s eviction, the DA could not stomach the lingering bad taste and staged a mass walkout. Leaving the remaining MP’s to fend off sleep by wedging match sticks into their eye lids or playing Clash of Clans during an otherwise monotonous speech from a president whom appeared completely unperturbed by the parliamentary spectacle. With an occasional amused chuckle and colloquial remark, JZ lumbered on as his supporters clapped their blistered hands to tatters during every pause… of which there were many.
It is the president’s complete disregard of the responses to his appeal for the people of South Africa to tell him what was important to them which reflected how little he thinks of the people who put him on his throne and fund his infamously lavish lifestyle. Although the legalisation of cannabis was the leading topic demanded to be heard by the public during SONA, it got not so much as a mention, while the other popular requests were simply thrown out with a casual remark about the buck being passed on to some autonomous part of government. This is where the ANC continues to blindly follow its leader over the cliff of condemnation in no longer being a movement of the people. If anything has been learnt from SONA 2015, it is that team Jacob will merrily trample the constitution to shreds and remain untouchable thanks to his parliamentary pit bulls keeping any scrutiny at bay.
There was a time when South Africa loved the charming cattle herder who had fought his way to captaining the country while calling for his machine gun along the way. Now there is nothing left other than a frail old man with a few comrades who love him and a nation that now despises him.