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Zuma In High Spirits,

politics

Feb 09, 2017

 

President Jacob Zuma has deployed 441 soldiers to help police maintain law & order as he opens Parliament on Thursday.

In Cape Town/Johannesburg President Jacob Zuma says he’s ready to address the nation on Thursday night amid heightened security.

Zuma has deployed 441 soldiers to help the police maintain law and order as he opens Parliament on Thursday.

This includes an expanded no-go zone around Parliament, reams of barbed wire and a significant army presence.

It will be the last state of the nation address that Zuma will give as leader of the African National Congress (ANC), although his term as the country’s president expires only in 2019.

The president hosted a number of guests at his official residence in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Speaking to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Zuma shared he is excited ahead of proceedings.

“Today we’re looking forward to the State of the Nation Address. The time and day has come where we’ll talk to the nation. We are very happy that this moment has come.”

Parliament's presiding officers and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are set to square off against each other when Zuma delivers his address.

The red berets say Zuma is a constitutional delinquent and that Parliament should rather debate its failure to hold him to account for breaching his oath of office over the Nkandla scandal.

Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise say the president's address is the only item on Thursday evening's agenda and will do whatever is necessary to keep order.

The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they’ll act within the rules.

“We are not scared. No amount of physical removal or securitisation is going to stop us from consistently defending the Constitution.”

But the presiding officers are likely to rule any objections or debate out of order.

Speaker Baleka Mbete says, “We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring everything is done for the decorum of the house of Parliament to be respected.”

Zuma is expected to start speaking at 7pm.

 

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