The worst time to be a president is when you have to appear in parliament. This is because it gives the opposition MPs the opportunity to drill you before the watchful eyes of the public. You need to be a strong and dedicate president to leave such meetings with true smiles from the heart.
Although many African countries have very weak Houses of Parliament which contain only members from the ruling party or opposition members who have no bearings and are looking to cross-carpet at any given opportunity, South Africa begs to differ in this regards.
The country boasts of one of the most vocal sets of MPs in the entire continent. The bulk of the credit for his goes to the Julius Malema led Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Small in number but great in voice, the crop of EFF MPs are seasoned technocrats and professionals who do not fail to do their homework anytime a representative of the ruling party appears before parliament.
Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa sure had his moments and would never forget his time in the House of Parliament and treatment received from the EFF MPs, especially from their leader, Julius Malema.
When current South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa took office and was confirmed as president of the nation in the House of Parliament, he was all smiles as he shook hands with Julius Malema. But many knew that those smiles will not last as Malema is known to put presidents on the hot seat and give them hard knocks right before their faces.
President Cyril Ramaphosa got a taste of Malema’s medicine during yesterday’s debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Julius Malema accused the president of money laundering and fraud during his campaign that made him president.
"Come clear" on who funded your campaign to become ANC president, EFF leader Julius Malema challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"We want the president to come clear, to explain and take the country into confidence, as to who are the people who have donated money in the CR17 campaign and what do they stand to benefit," Malema said.
"We need the names, not leaked documents, Mr. President. You ought to call all these trustees [of his 2017 campaign] and say to them they must give you a report of who donated money and what are the expectations of those people.
"We want you, Mr. President, where a mistake was committed, to take full responsibility and announce which practical steps you are going to take in correcting those mistakes.
"Please help South Africa, by taking it into your confidence. Make sure that you lead by example.
"Mr. President, you should lead by example and stop delaying and frustrating the Public Protector's investigation in your Bosasa dealings.
"Let the Public Protector do her work, and once the report is finalized, appear before a parliamentary ad hoc committee so that the matter can be dealt with in an open and transparent manner," Malema said.
There is no doubt that the president would be the happiest person to see the debate come to an end, but this is just the beginning. Malema never tires…
Header Image Credit: City Press - News24