Social media was not impressed with Ramaphosa’s calmer and more orderly state of the nation address, though there was one moment of spice midway.
Some may think the 2019 state of the nation address is exactly what South Africa needs.
There was none of the embarrassing drama, no walk-outs or signal blockers or security aggressively removing the EFF.
President Cyril Ramaphosa calmly delivered a speech detailing his government’s achievements, its challenges and its past mistakes, as well as his plans for its future.
There was only one problem. South Africans, it seems, are so accustomed to the drama, so addicted to the excitement of the Sonas of years gone by, that we can’t seem to live without at least a bit of chaos.
According to social media, the lack of conflict in this year’s Sona was just plain boring, although there was a moment that nearly spilt over into conflict when the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu stood up to complain that Ramaphosa was “plagiarising” ideas from them.
Some had earlier said they even missed Jacob Zuma, others that they were waiting for the EFF to do what they did best. But with only a few exceptions, the major consensus appeared to be that this year’s Sona was barely worth watching.
Ramaphosa began this year’s proceedings with a joke and anecdote after naming and recognising VIP guests in parliament.
The joke was about Julius Malema, who was seen laughing at it, and from that moment it became clear that the EFF would not be going through with its threatened disruptions, and that this would be a different kind of Sona to the ones we’ve witnessed in the past few years.
Malema had challenged Ramaphosa to explain the R500,000 donation his presidential campaign received from Bosasa, threatening to turn proceedings into a question-and-answer session if he didn’t.
“If Cyril thinks he is going to do what Zuma was doing in that parliament, we will treat him the same way we treated Zuma,” he warned.
It was reported that hours before the start of this year’s Sona that the EFF still had not decided if it would be creating a disruption this year.