Sometimes referred to as “Mister Parliament”, there are few, if any, speakers in Parliament whose speeches are as anticipated as Democratic Alliance’s chief whip John Steenhuisen, at least if Youtube views of his speeches are anything to go by. We’ve rounded up some of the best.
1. Steenhuisen takes on Zuma, “the ugly head of impunity”:
In a speech this week – where he does a great imitation of Zuma’s “Nkandla” pronunciation, where the president mocked the way the opposition said the Zulu name of his private home – Steenhuisen kept pointing to Zuma saying, “That is the ugly head of impunity”. “We have a president who has done everything he can to undermine South Africa. … He has treated this house with complete contempt.”
2. The most famous Steenhuisen speech, a tour de force.
Possibly his most famous video – at least this year – where Steenhuisen talks during the SONA 2016 debate. He mentions the “B Team” gathered by the ANC to defend Zuma because no one else wants to. Responding to minister Rob Davies’ speech about what the government is doing, he says, “He’s fixing Eskom. But who broke it in the first place? Your government, your policies.” He talks about the ANC’s “hocus pocus economics and voodoo tricks to try trick us”. When one of the ANC MPs quotes Lenin, he says he wants to quote the other Lenin, John Lennon, in particular his song ‘Nowhere Man’. “He’s a real nowhere man living in a nowhere land”.
3. When Steenhuysen gets kicked out for using the word “rubbish”.
Earlier this year, Steenhuiysen defended COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota’s use of the word “faction” to describe a split-off of the ANC who are disgruntled with Zuma, which the speaker told Lekota to withdraw. Objecting to the random nature of the speaker Raseriti Rau’s pronouncements, the DA chief told him, “You’ve got no control of this house. None whatsoever …You’re talking complete rubbish.” “You’re not fit to sit in that chair.” “You’re making this house a joke.” Rau told Steenhuisen to withdraw the word rubbish. DA leader Mmusi Maimane stepped in and said Rau allowed the ANC to call the DA “racist”, and they were allowed to get away with that.
4. The Steenhuisen response to ANC’s “I Will F#$% You Up”.
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina, in early 2015, started his speech by making fun of “Mister Parliament”, telling him that he should go into acting if he wanted to be on TV. After Steenhuisen rose on a point of order, Masina apparently used the words “I will f#$% you up”, pointing at the opposition.
5. “Zuma has crashed the bus.”
In the debate over a raise for Zuma in March this year, Steenhuisen talks about the firing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015 and what it did to the economy. He says Zuma “crashes the bus” but then says “I’ve done a good job, give me a raise”.