As president Jacob Zuma readies himself for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday (11 February), he faces criticism on a number of fronts.
According to a report by the City Press, the president is facing challenges politically, economically, socially and legally in the coming week:
The Hawks’ crimes against the state unit has been sent to parliament:
- Zuma has gotten deeply involved with the court case against him, asking lawyers to take him through it, personally;
- The City of Cape Town has approved three different marches on the day of the address;
- The EFF’s Julius Malema has promised an “eventful week”, and threatened to disrupt the address if Zuma didn’t apologise for axing former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene;
- Local and foreign investors are bracing for economic turbulence ahead of and during both the SONA and the budget speech happening later this month.
It has reached the point where security around the president has been boosted significantly, the paper said, where Zuma will be surrounded by police officers from three units when he delivers his speech.
According to the paper, security officials proposed that the “exclusion radius” of the president be expanded to 2km – but this was shot down as it would have blocked off the city center.
One of the main reasons for the security boost is because of the increased social and political protest action expected to take place – particularly from the EFF.
EFF leader Julius Malema has vowed to give Zuma a hard time this week if the president doesn’t acknowledge and apologise for firing former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, and the effect it has had on the country.
Malema has said that 5,000 EFF members will march to the Constitutional Court this week when Zuma will face a challenge from political parties over the Public Protector report into Nkandla.
Later in the week, during the SONA, Malema said it will “be the same story”.
“We are going to come and challenge the president – when the white shirts come marching in, that’s when the gymnastics will begin,” he said.
Meanwhile, foreign economists told the City Press that a lot of investors view the president’s address as being more important the budget speech at this stage.
“It’s a critical couple of weeks for South Africa’s economy.”
You can read the full story in the City Press for 7 February 2016.