In the News: Pandemonium at the State of the Nation Address in South Africa … What Is Yet to Come?

The events at the ‘State of the Nation’ indeed shocked the South African nation. The 9th of February 2017 represents an early Valentine’s Day ‘gone wrong’ in the political trajectory of South Africa. From the booing of the president, to hostile verbal exchanges, to the president’s repetition of platitudes and smile in response to tough questions, to physical fights and pepper spray during the state of the nation address, many South Africans are asking, “What next?” ‘We are holding our hopes high’ has been South Africans’ resilient refrain, given how the country has overcome great odds in the past. But are the events of February 9 merely political theatrics, or a warning about the deeper issues threatening our democracy? As the shock slowly hits home, voices are asking, Could this be the ‘state’ of the nation?