President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address in parliament in Cape Town, February 11 2021. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/REUTERS
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address in parliament in Cape Town, February 11 2021. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/REUTERS

Along with many other memorable quotes, Dr Anton Rupert apparently advised a family member to “talk less and say more”. It is a pity the good doctor is not still around to advise President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose reply to the state of the nation address (Sona) debate did not reveal a single original thought or initiative, left an impression of a total lack of interest in actually responding to the issues raised by the participants, and was actually insulting to the intellect and patience of his audience in and outside parliament.

It seems the president is quite comfortable with describing in hyperbolic terms the caterpillar-like inching forward by government in dealing with our country’s desperate issues and believes that quoting a few micro milestones that have been reached is indicative of what he describes as huge achievements in restoring socioeconomic progress to our people.

Ramaphosa should not get personally involved in the Jacob Zuma versus justice Raymond Zondo issue. He should, in his Sona, have devoted time and attention to the matter of the attack by various individuals, including within his own party, on our constitutional democracy and declare his, and the governments he leads, resolute commitment to our constitution and the rule of law. Merely announcing the establishment of some amorphous anti-corruption co-ordination body was not enough.

Ramaphosa left it to the young justice minister, Ronald Lamola, to raise the issue and do the job he should have done. Yet for all his promise and ability, Lamola is not the president of the country and he is not the president of the governing party.

Why does the president avoid publicly, unambiguously and without fear or favour reprimanding and rejecting those who subvert and undermine our constitution and the rule of law?

David Gant
Kenilworth

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