This speech was to be the basis for President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the opening of Parliament on February 9, 2017. On January 19 it was hacked by Russians and on January 20 plagiarised by America. The speech has since been re-conceived, fake news and alternative facts removed, and was presented to the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday February 7 as the annual Luthuli Housekeeping Report by MRS EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT.
We in the ruling party are now joined with the people of South Africa in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we can determine the course of our rainbow nation and the continent for years to come. Yes, we will face more challenges. Yes, we will confront great hardships. But we will get the job done eventually.
Every five years after a democratic free and fair election, we gather on the steps of our non-racial, non-sexist Parliament to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, usually from the same party to the same party.
And so we are grateful to our fellow comrades for their gracious aid throughout these transitions. They have been magnificent.
For too long, a small group in our party’s headquarters has reaped the rewards of government while the real people have borne the cost. Tswane, Genadendal, a shebeen in Saxonwold and Nkandla flourished — but the real people did not share in its wealth. Yes, certain politicians prospered – but the jobs left for China, and the factories closed.
The 105-year-old ANC inspired by such figures as Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, now hijacked by some who prefer to remain nameless, started to protect itself, but not the citizens of our country. The selfish victories of some cadres have not been your victories; their overrated triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated yet another birthday at the Orlando Stadium, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land who were not invited to the party.
That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because the State of the Nation address on Thursday is your speech: it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone who will read about it or watch it on ANN7 or fake news like eNCA all across Mzanzi. That is your day. That is your celebration. And this, the Republic of South Africa, is your country.
What truly matters is not which political party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. February 9, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again when our President Jacob Zuma is hopefully allowed to speak. The forgotten do is listen and then join the ANC. The ANC will listen to them as you listen to me.
On April 27, 1994 you came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the centre of this movement called the African National Congress is a crucial conviction: that a nation only exists to serve its citizens.
South Africans want great schools for their children, safe neighbourhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public. But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; a higher education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealised potential.
This South African Carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation – and the pain of our people is our pain, their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. Sona will be an oath of allegiance to all South Africans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry and white monopoly capital at the expense of local industry; subsidised the armies of other African countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; and had to spend trillions of rands in interest while our infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of African workers left behind. The wealth of our new middle class is being ripped from their homes and then redistributed among a new elite.
But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future. In your presence here today on behalf of the collective leadership, I am issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every all of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this moment on, it’s going to be South Africa First.
We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways and nuclear power stations all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of social grants and welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with South African hands and South African labour. We will follow two simple rules: Buy South African and hire South African.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of Africa and the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite our civilised world against radical Afrophobic racism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly and robustly, but always pursue solidarity. When South Africa is united, the future is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God. Finally, we must think bigly and dream even biglier.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of Luthuli House. We will not fail. Our party will thrive and prosper again.
It is time to remember that old wisdom our comrades will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great South African Flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Egoli or the windswept plains of the Northern Cape, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
So to all South Africans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Together, we will again make our country strong again. We will again make families wealthy again. We will again make our people proud again. We will again make our cities safe again. And yes, together, we will again make South Africa great again again.
Thank you. God bless you all. And, of course, God bless the African National Congress. And in your prayers be sure to remind Him that we will rule till His Son comes back! Amandla/Vrystaat! DM
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine