The scene is set the proverbial table laid. The much publicized or should I say hoped for showdown is a few hours away. The question on everyone’s lips what will happen come seven o’clock tonight, your guess is as good as mine since we know already parliament intends staging its annual event within the framework of the parliamentary rules.
For some this is aggressively hoped to be the EFF’s finest hour when they will against all odds in defiance of all sanity rules attempts disrupting the SONA. The question becomes what potentially the majority anti-ANC is expecting tonight as they sit glued to view the SONA. Let us also not fool ourselves to assume people are tuning in tonight to watch the SONA, they are tuning in to see chaos, which is what they anticipating.
Aubrey Matsiqi one of my favourite political analysts in an interview yesterday on SAFM said one thing is clear … ‘this will be the most viewed SONA perhaps ever’… It is right here that I wish to light my candle and attempt an analysis what this most viewed anticipated SONA mean:
For Julius Malema and the EFF who is on record to have insisted they will use all forms and opportunities to campaign this is a dream sent if not dream forced. Given this, we can expect Malema and the EFF to go for broke tonight. Every campaign has a launch, a critical high point, and a time of silent death or evaporation. The ‘pay back the money campaign’ was a successful campaign and is now in its sixth month and perhaps tonight reaches its most finite moment, in my anticipation after which it will plunge into the abyss of none-effect.
The EFF and Malema comes to this SONA wounded, wounded because the ongoing saga of an organisation spiralling out of control, lacking due leadership accused of being a dictator and having to face media daily with this ongoing challenge. It has in recent months beyond its honeymoon period post-May 2014 elections courted much controversy as an organisation in internal turmoil. Secondly, he comes to the SONA bruised because of the latest instalment of a public letter spat between himself and Gayton McKenzie leader of PAP. McKenzie has been scathing and naked in proving Malema a thug and the details were gory. This will bring Malema to the SONA in revenge mode meaning he needs to shift the focus of this pressure and the best way to deal with that is to reflect that onto the President with the “pay back the money campaign” as its mantra.
It is to be expected that the speaker will attempt to bring order, in letting the rules for the SONA stand, which will lead to more noise, it is here where chaos will erupt when the she will insist on rules and the EFF sensing at an emotional level disrupting the SONA is very possible. The speaker will invoke the rules at least as she understands it and give orders to the sergeant general to eject members that have been given warnings. This will boil over to fracas and
It is the important to accept that the primary aim of the EFF leadership is de-skin Zuma, and it feels it has tonight that opportunity.
Therefore, what will happen, the EFF will is on record to have said they will not give Zuma a chance to clean his throat, before they will be demanding him to answer. We therefore can expect that as Zuma moves to the podium there will be heckling, and this will boil over into noise, noise which
What will the other opposition parties do, in fact where do they stand? I fear no contradiction to unequivocally state the majority of opposition parties who are on record for having stated they do not support disruption of the SONA contrary to public statement silently hope for this disruption and potential altercation. The opposition parties will as always find the SONA as repetitive, empty and a rehash of what was said before, because that is what they say when they interviewed by the media after every SONA. In fact, the DA has been so intoxicated to believe that it can pen a SONA for SA.
The truth is all opposition parties are all upstaged by the EFF and have for years been enjoying red carpets, dinners and celebrations, all of a sudden the EFF has shown them how apparently complicit they have been in making a mockery of the people. Out of that guilty conscious the DA decides not to attend the after events of the SONA, they decide to dress down, how foolish cos they always dressed up they always enjoyed the pomp and pride they have always enjoyed being in the limelight now in 2015 they have developed a consciousness inspired by red overalls of the EFF. The conundrum for the DA remains the fact that though it is the official opposition party, it cannot make that count because Malema’s personality for the wrong reasons has dictated who the real opposition is. Thus, the DA can hardly claim any moral high ground.
They silently hope for maximum embarrassment to the President because he has been the epicentre of their campaigns in 2014. Hence, as much as the likes of the DA publicly claim no support for the intended EFF and Malema disruptions they hope for it, it privately supports any means to embarrass Zuma with the proviso that they do not want to carry the van for it.
The reality is whilst this is billed to be the finest hour of EFF it will also be the hour that defines its demise which will show in the 2016 elections. Tonight many more of its 1,1million voters will decide at a personal level, I cannot be associated with this sensational egocentric and megalomaniac behaviour.
Let us accept tonight in full view of a world media that has already set up to capture not the SON but the antics of the EFF, we will be embarrassed. Julius Malema will have his finest hour though brief, because the news will not focus one iota on the actual SONA, which holds critical aspects of the road we have traversed, and the issues currently confronting us for which solutions are proposed.
In the end tonight will come and go, and tomorrow morning we all will awake to a new day in which the ANC and its president still leads SA in challenging times not challenging because of a SONA disruption but challenging for the real issues which we less in blame game sense must find answers. Our challenges are manifold. We are a still dealing with the reality of racism, challenges of unequal society, challenges of power shortages, challenges of unemployment and challenges of success that births impatience where services have not yet arrived. We will wake up and South Africa will still be where it is celebrating 20 years of major improvements and equal challenges, conscious that challenges do not last forever.
As the night falls the self-claimed Khanyisile Litchfield- Tshabalala’s ‘pay back the money’ will perhaps fade as much as she is fading in EFF context. Yes, this false campaign would have died a natural death and the EFF will need a new campaign, if not a new focus, difficult as it is because it cannot untie itself from the true meaning of its existence, an overt obsession with unseating Zuma, at any cost anywhere anytime.
I still hold South Africans of all walks deserve to hear the president speak on what Government has initiated to solve our challenges. The majority of South Africans want to hear the State Of our Nation Address and we truthfully are not interested in showdowns of hooliganism and foolishness parading as endorsed by the majority of South Africans who never entrusted those who cause this consternation.
May sense prevail and let us have the SONA, maybe without the EFF!
Clyde N.S. Ramalaine