If Parliament descends into chaos it will be a national embarrassment
10 February 2015
Today, Parliament's Presiding Officers could not give a clear answer on whether the Public Order Policing Unit will be on standby for the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The fact that the policing of MPs dominates discussion around the State of the Nation, is an insult to South Africans and the real issues facing them.
Parliament must perform its constitutional role, and the President must be held accountable for the true state of nation.
The ANC and EFF's trading of threats of disruption and heavy-handed policing are making a mockery of this institution.
If the National Assembly descends into chaos on Thursday, it will be a national embarrassment.
South Africa is in a time of crisis - from electricity supply, to unemployment, to the scourge of drugs taking over our communities.
President Zuma is a deeply compromised man, but he must still account to Parliament, and to South Africans, for the state of our nation.
And make no mistake he must account for his wrongs as well, which is why the DA has fought so hard for the imminent court date to review the dropping of 700 plus corruption counts against the President.
For now, we must make this state of the nation about the real issues of concern to South Africans.
Parliament must work for South Africans - we will achieve nothing by breaking this institution down.
After all, this institution does not belong to any party or person, it belongs to the people of South Africa who expect MPs to do their jobs.
Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, February 20 2015
Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter