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Vol 56 No 4

Published 20th February 2015

South Africa

A rowdy state of the nation

President Zuma's vision of the road ahead failed to ignite passion. Only the chaos that descended on Parliament stood out

Despite fist fights and forcible expulsions from the chamber of the National Assembly, African National Congress officials insisted President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on 12 February was a triumph. Many others saw only a lacklustre collection of vague assurances but it was its reception that made the headlines. Democratic Alliance members of parliament, dressed in black, staged a walkout in a mock funeral of democracy during the speech. Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) barracked Zuma, shouting 'When is the President going to pay back the money?', a reference to the public funds used to upgrade Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

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