Parliament burns in Cape Town. Picture: MOLOTO MOTHAPO VIA TWITTER
Parliament burns in Cape Town. Picture: MOLOTO MOTHAPO VIA TWITTER

The devastating fire at parliament, and the parliamentary speaker’s response disclaiming any responsibility, refers. Serious questions around the lack of adequate parliamentary security have been bubbling away for over a decade. There have been numerous reports of vehicles being stolen from inside the parliamentary precinct — even from three floors below ground — as well as break-ins and thefts from various offices. Little, if anything, has been done, and now it has come to this. 

Yet in a country where six months after an insurrection swept across two provinces, cost the lives of more than 300 people, destroyed infrastructure and property worth billions of rand and showed the SA Police Service and SA National Defence Force and their leaders to be criminally incompetent and insanely unprepared, not a single ringleader has been identified, charged or convicted of any wrongdoing. Even the defence minister admitted to having been caught with her “pants down” and was duly rewarded by being promoted to speaker of parliament only to be caught with her pants down again. I don’t expect any answers or consequences to flow from the president and his cabinet any time soon. 

On that note, would somebody please tell President Cyril Ramaphosa that we don’t need a state of the nation address this year. We all know exactly what state the nation is in. And we certainly don’t want to hear what he is going to do about it. We’ve had far too much talk from The Hollow Man these past four years (and silence for the eight years before that when he was Jacob Zuma’s deputy, some would even say lackey.) We just want to see him actually doing it.

Mark Lowe 
Durban

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