Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said standing up to the applaud Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Friday night felt good.
Ramaphosa’s election as President of South Africa has sparked positive reaction in various spheres, including the National Assembly – where there was no disturbance during the SONA address on Friday and no disturbance during the #SONAdebate on Monday morning.
Speaking during that debate, Maimane said: “We all stood up to applaud the President after his State of the Nation Address. And I’ll be honest with you. It felt good.”
The governing African National Congress (ANC) has just negotiated and completed a tricky transition, following the election of a new administration at the party’s 54th National Conference last December.
It is the ANC that negotiated those choppy waters but Maimane and the Democratic Alliance have claimed credit for the transition.
“It felt good to be a member of this august House, with its dignity restored. It felt good to be a member of the opposition, knowing that our efforts over the last decade have not been in vain. Most of all, it felt good to be a South African,” added Maimane.
“It felt good to be a citizen of this beautiful, exciting country with all of its challenges, with all of its hope in the face of adversity. When I looked up to the gallery and I saw President Mbeki, I was reminded of his timeless words when we signed our Constitution into law. We are all Africans – every single one of us.”
“We may sit on different sides of the House, but I hope that all of us are here because we want to build a South Africa we can hand over to our children.”