President Zuma has authorised the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to cooperate with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in maintaining law and order during the Opening of Parliament where the President will deliver the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA). The SONA address will be the President’s 10th address to the country on Thursday evening 9 February and is expected to be heated.
441 SANDF members have been deployed from 5 to 10 February 2017.
“Actions of JZ in deploying the army can’t be legal, violate the separation of powers, 4 personal use. I have asked our legal team to engage,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted.
Pierre de Vos from Constitutionally speaking says; “In terms of section 205(3) of the Constitution the police service (NOT the military) is tasked with preventing, combating and investigating crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law. Because we are a constitutional democracy, the military should only assist the SAPS in the most exceptional circumstances and only in accordance with strict procedures set out in section 201 of the Constitution, read with section 18 and 19 of the Defence Act.”
Section 201 (Political responsibility) of the Constitution of South Africa states:
(1) A member of the Cabinet must be responsible for defence.
(2) Only the President, as head of the national executive, may authorise the employment of the defence force –
(a) in co-operation with the police service;
(b) in defence of the Republic; or
(c) in fulfilment of an international obligation.
(3) When the defence force is employed for any purpose mentioned in subsection (2), the President must inform Parliament, promptly and in appropriate detail, of –
(a) the reasons for the employment of the defence force;
(b) any place where the force is being employed;
(c) the number of people involved; and
(d) the period for which the force is expected to be employed.
(4) If Parliament does not sit during the first seven days after the defence force is employed as envisaged in subsection (2), the President must provide the information required in subsection (3) to the appropriate oversight committee
The EFF said the move was a “declaration of war” on the country’s citizens.
— EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 7, 2017
Redi Tlhabi wanted to know if South Africa was at war.
SANDF at #SONA2017 ? Why? Is the country at war?
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) February 7, 2017
Pasco said; “President Zuma has become a paranoid schiznophrenic rogue. The coward knows his days are numbered and thus uses SANDF to threaten the nation”
President Zuma has become a paranoid schiznophrenic rogue. The coward knows his days are numbered and thus uses SANDF to threaten the nation
— Public Protester (@Pasco_e) February 7, 2017
Ghetto Child said; “SANDF must not undermine themselves and take orders from a criminal. Once the military undermines itself, we done as a country”
SANDF must not undermine themselves and take orders from a criminal. Once the military undermines itself, we done as a country
— Ghetto Child (@Moletsane_P_M) February 7, 2017
Siyabonga Came ?said; “So this moronic greedy corrupted coward president Zuma has deployed 441 SANDF members just to terrorise the oppositions.”
So this moronic greedy corrupted coward president Zuma has deployed 441 SANDF members just to terrorise the oppositions.
— Siyabonga Came (@came_siyabonga) February 7, 2017
The EFF released the following statement:
The EFF has taken note of the fact that Zuma has authorized the employment of 441 members of SANDF for the State of the Nation Address. Zuma has deployed these military personnel for what he calls the maintenance of law and order at the SONA.
We condemn this initiative as the unleashing of the army on the people of South Africa. It must be seen as the declaration of War on citizens, which means Zuma is planning to murder those he disagrees with at the SONA.
The military has no place in the maintenance of law and order as the South African Police Services are given such a mandate. The military are people who get deployed for war and whose training is about killing the enemies of the state.
We know for sure that this initiative by Zuma is done to intimidate the media and the EFF. Zuma no longer has confidence on the rank and file, including captains with the SAPS to execute his illegal decisions and instructions. He now hopes to use SANDF to suppress opposition to his illegitimacy as a constitutional delinquent.
We call on members of the media to defy any and all unjust regulations designed to undermine their freedoms of movement and of the media. They too have a duty to undertake their journalism with full constitutional activism as citizens and human beings with human rights.
We also all have a duty to defend parliament as a house of the people. It does not belong to Zuma and it will never be; it must always be a people’s parliament.
We further call on SANDF members to defy unjust orders from a criminal president. They must refuse to be turned against the people; they must instead turn their guns against Zuma! We call on them to respect parliament and the parliament of the people and not of Zuma.
Zuma has no constitutional mandate to impose law and order on parliament; this is a direct violation of the separation of powers. Parliament precinct must be respected as sacrosanct, with only the speaker, in consultation with members of parliament, who can authorize security measures, not Zuma. This is so, regardless of the fact that SONA is convinced by a head of state; it is still convened under the rules of parliament, approved and overseen by parliament.
As the EFF, we shall never be deterred. No amount of security and intimidation will deter us from holing Zuma accountable in terms of the constitution. We will defend the constitution to the end and with whatever revolutionary means possible.
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