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Postponement of SONA a victory for Ramaphosa

“Though the FF Plus is not opposed to the postponement of Thursday’s State of the Nation address (SONA), the fact that the postponement was announced only one day before the SONA was scheduled to take place poses a real problem, says Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.

According to Dr Groenewald, the sudden postponement creates the impression that the ANC simply wants to use the written requests, by which opposition party leaders demanded the postponement, as a smokescreen to cover up its own incompetency and inability to solve internal problems.

“Logistic arrangements for the SONA have already been made. Guests from all over the world were supposed to attend it. Accommodation has been booked and flights have been paid for. To cancel and or alter these arrangements will result in the relevant parties incurring unnecessary costs.

“The postponement of the SONA also leaves no room for doubt that the sentiment in the ANC is that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa should deliver the address and not President Jacob Zuma. As a result, the postponement can therefore also be seen as a victory for the Ramaphosa faction in the ANC.

“It is clear that the ANC is struggling to get rid of President Zuma and the argument that the ANC cannot have two centres of power is weak. When President Zuma was elected as the president of the ANC in 2007, Kgalema Motlanthe became president of the country after President Thabo Mbeki was recalled.

“Thus, two centres of power were in place in the ANC until President Zuma became president of South Africa in 2009. So clearly, the argument is simply aimed at getting rid of President Zuma,” says Dr Groenewald.

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