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President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 2024 state of the nation address in Cape Town, February 8 2024. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/REUTERS
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 2024 state of the nation address in Cape Town, February 8 2024. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/REUTERS

Watching the audience reactions to Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona speech in the Cape Town city hall was instructive.

The ANC ministers and MPs all did their best to look upbeat. They pretended to smile and laugh. Some even managed to applaud as Ramaphosa ploughed on interminably. “Listen to this one," he called out, as if telling jokes while doing stand-up comedy on the city hall's stage. 

They tried not to show it but their taut, worried faces gave them away as they tried valiantly to drown out the incredulous laughter, groaning and heckling from the rest of the gathering. They know that it’s all disinformation. Even they can smell desperation in the air.

The ANC MPs know that they’re in serious trouble. Cabinet ministers and backbenchers alike were mentally trying to calculate their pension payouts as their boss droned on about patients loving government hospitals and refusing to move to private care. 

The Hollow Man has become the empty shirt, the court jester and comedy clown, but the jokes really weren’t that funny any more. 

The party is over for the ANC. And it knows it.

Mark Lowe
Durban

The FM welcomes concise letters from readers. They can be sent to fmmail@fm.co.za

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