NAME

NAME: ?Esther Naledi Mowale

STUDENT NUMBER:60211873

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SUBJECT CODE:ENG2602

UNIQUE NUMBER: ? 898771

? A c rit ic al a n aly sis o f a p ers u asiv e s p eech o f M m usi
Maim an e

This essay will critically analyse the content of the speech as a persuasive text by
discussing genre,context,rhetorical devices,register,language devices and so forth.The
genre of this text is that it is a non-fictional persuasive speech by Mmusi Maimane at
the SONA 2016 in Parliament.It is a response of the Democratic Alliance to the
President of the country,Jacob Zuma,and the leader of the ruling party,the ANC.In his
speech, Maimane discusses controversial issues faced by the public such as
joblessness and education. Furthermore,Maimane also questions the leadership of the
ANC and appeals to the logic of the public and that of the Parliament.In so doing
,Maimane is persuading the public to choose the DA and overthrow the ANC.

” Planet Zuma is where our President lives , in a galaxy far, far away from the lives of
ordinary South Africans.” Here the speaker uses a metaphor,an extended direct
comparison which gives an image of Zuma being another planet other than earth,as
ordinary people.It gives an image of Zuma and his leadership or way of doing things as
being different and exclusive from the ordinary world.The term “galaxy” gives an image
and emphasises the level of distance between that the ordinary South Africans and
Zuma,it also hints that Zuma is in his own world. Additionally, the use of repetition in the
phrases “far, far” further contributes to the extent of exclusion between Jacob Zuma and
the audience.The constant repetition of the phrase “Planet Zuma” so it is planted in the
minds of the audience which will contribute to the perception,which is of an egocentric,
is what the audience will have of the opposition.The metaphor and repetition contribute
to the persuasive element by bringing a sense of realisation of exclusion between the
public and the Parliament.

Furthermore,the use of personal pronouns,emotive language and the use of first person
narrative in this speech work together and affirms persuasion. In this speech, diction
such as “our, his” allows Maimane to engage with the audience,the audience develops
sense of unity and awareness of the matters at hand, which are joblessness and quality
of education. In other words, Maimane is weakening the character of Zuma by revealing
his failures .For instance, “On Planet Zuma, there is no job crisis.” This gains empathy
from the audience and in turn discrediting their opposition. The use of personal
pronouns ” our, we” by the speaker implies mutuality, between the speaker and the
audience and in contrast to the sense of detachment Maimane gives the audience of
Zuma by the using the diction a “he”. The use of emotive language such as “crisis”

speakers wants to persuade the Parliament and the public to agree with him by
engaging to their emotions. They can do this by including words that carry emotional
weight. This can be persuasive because it encourages the audience to respond on an
emotional level, rather than considering the facts, or it may subtly affect the way the
reader views the topic

Similarly, the use of contractions and simple diction not only contribute to mutuality and
power of persuasiveness, but also reveal the audience and register that Maimane is
referring to. The register in this speech is both formal and informal, It is formal in the
sense that the jargon that Maimane chooses like ” Madam Speaker” or ” Commission of
Inquiry” clearly reveal that the Parliament is assembled with educated and with people
who know and abide to the law.The informal part of the speech reveals shows that the
speaker is regarding the public as a whole, educated and all genders,ages and race by
using contractions such as “didn’t” and simple diction like “joblessness”,when he can
say use the word ‘unemployment’ for the formality of his speech.
Likewise, overgeneralization also plays in the mutuality role, phrases such as “every,
all” involves the audience on situations at hand. All these aspects contribute to
persuasiveness the Parliament and public share a feeling of situations,unemployment
and quality of education, are faced by everyone other than their leader,Zuma. This
gains credibility and support of the DA and at the same time discredits their
opposition,the ANC, and creates a perception of togetherness with the DA and further
alienates the president.

In the speech we also come across the use of evidence and contrast which both
contribute to the speech as persuasive. For evidence, he gives a statistic like ” …8.3
million South Africans who are jobless.” which indicates the seriousness of the the
matter and Maimane. The audience is able to comprehend the importance of what is at
hand and also reconsider reconsider their choice of a leader and this is where the
contrast comes in, where the speaker says “On Planet Zuma, there is no job crisis.”
another contrast is “On Planet Zuma, all children have access to quality education. This
must be why the president didn’t mention basic education once.” Maimane is appealing
to the logic of the audience and he is also comparing and differentiating between the
‘world’ the Zuma is in and that of the of ordinary South Africans. He indicates that Zuma
sees no problem with joblessness and the quality of education yet it is a major issue in
the country. Through the evidence or statistic,the audience will realise the amount of
people who are jobless and question themselves as to what is being done or what is
being done by their current leader and also re-evaluate the options Maimane and his
party. This is an expectation and a persuasive tactic from the speaker.

In order to persuade an audience,you need to be definite about what you say. By using
modal verbs the audience is persuaded to believe in what is being said and brings a
sense of urgency from the Maimane and the audience.The speaker uses modal verbs
such as ” must,can”. “This ? must ? be why the President didn’t mention basic education
once.” , the “must” in this sentence implies the opinion of Maimane, even if it may not
be, as being a fact. This persuades the audience to pay attention to what is being said
and attend to it.

Other aspects are understating,sarcasm, irony and ridicule. They all play a role in
discrediting the opposition,Jacob Zuma. The speaker in certain instances regards the
speech of the opposition as being unimportant,for instance ” We expected to hear the
empty words of a man out of touch with the people. And that is what we got.” Maimane
is clearly indicating that the speech of Zuma has no significance hence he says they are
“empty words” and this reveals to the public that their leader is making empty promises.
Maimane later says, “We knew what to expect, but we came to listen ?anyway ?.”, the
phrase “anyway” also affirms unimportance and the speaker understating the speech of
his opposition. “We knew what to expect, but we came to listen ?anyway ?.” also used to
ridicule Zuma which reveals public and Parliament that they all wasted their time coming
and listening to him because,according to Maimane,it was not worthwhile. Lastly, the
use of irony from the speaker is a suggestion to the audience that the opposition is
causing,not clarity,but confusion when Maimane says, “On Planet Zuma, all children
have access to a quality education. This must be why the president didn’t mention basic
education once.” Maimane is trying to instil the fact that ordinary South Africans are
facing this issue but Zuma does not seem to thinks so.Subsequently, this creates and
builds the persuading element and suspense for the audience and isolates the ANC
party.

This essay has analysed the speech by its use of figure of speech,rhetorical
devices,language devices we can regard this speech as a persuasive text. Mmusi
Maimane may have gained support and credibility from the public and the Parliament for
his party,the DA, in contrast to the ruling opposition

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