Are you serious, Mr President?
Images portray President Jacob Zuma laughing and finding the chaos at the State of the Nation address very entertaining.
Zuma, who had to have been suspicious of the protest the EFF threatened to stage, seemed like he came prepared.
M&G photographer David Harrison captured Zuma’s reaction during the disruption. Let’s take a look:
You want to fight? My boys will deal with you
For the first time, Zuma’s bodyguard stood in front of him in Parliament during Sona. It was clear that the president was aware that something unusual or should I say the “EFF showdown” would happen. Three bodyguards are seen in the images in front of Zuma as they watch the EFF’s every move.
What’s funny Mr President, please share the joke
As disruptions continued in Parliament, Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered security officers to remove EFF MPs who refused to sit down. The MPs were demanding answers from the president as to when he will “pay back the money” based on the Public Protector’s report into security upgrades at his homestead in Nkandla. A cheerful Zuma who was clearly impressed by Mbete’s decision, smiled. Can Zuma share the joke? Clearly we’re missing something.
Msholozi grow up
Like Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said: “We had to show them who is in charge.” It seemed like Zuma shared the same sentiment. Here Zuma is seen waving at the ANC benches. Come on Msholozi, that’s not how you behave as a leader.
“Abahambe nabo” (Let them go too)
DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane accused the ANC of using Parliament to protect Zuma. “What the ANC is doing in this place, in this time, cannot be allowed. It is the breakdown of the Constitution and President Zuma is presiding over it.” Well, after the EFF was forcibly removed, the DA decided to walk out in protest against armed security personnel entering the House. Zuma remained unfazed and even joked about the exits during his speech.
It’s safe now, you can come out
As the dust settled, Zuma was called on to continue where he left off by National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise. The man didn’t waste time to make fun of those who left the house. “Siyabazwela laba abangezwa” (We feel pity for those who are missing out).
Well, the EFF might have been chased out of Parliament, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over. Zuma demonstrated what many are calling disgusting behaviour.
Laughter is not the best medicine, not even for a nation’s leader, while the country faces a crisis caused in Parliament that mostly involves Zuma.