SABC News - 7 000 expected to march in Parly ahead of SONA:Monday 8 February 2016

7 000 expected to march in Parly ahead of SONA

Monday 8 February 2016 21:55

Bulelani Phillip

The opening of Parliament is the biggest gathering on the Parliamentary calendar.(SABC)

At least seven thousand people are expected to protest in the Cape Town CBD on Thursday, ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

This will happen outside the area cordoned off around Parliament.

The City of Cape Town says the three planned protests will be closely monitored.

They include #FeesMustFall and #ZumaMustFall. Ses'khona’s protest against racism will be countered by a Democratic Alliance (DA) march.

Cape Town's Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security JP Smith says, “SAPS are not going to permit anything later in the day that will interfere with SONA arrangements. But the city is heavily committed to those arrangements; we have 441 members
who will be on duty.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has already warned it will insist President Jacob Zuma explains the dismissal of the former
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

But other parties are committed to a dignified SONA.

The ANC Chief Whip's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says, “Anyone suffering from attention seeking disorder will have to be met with the full might of the rules of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), and they are clear about any attempt to disrupt [parliamentary proceedings] that you'll be thrown out.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says, “Just because we do not resort to chaos does not mean that President Jacob Zuma will get away
with an easy ride from us in the weeks ahead.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says, “If the Economic Freedom Fighters were to behave in particular way that would actually result in a reaction from the ruling party. That’s the reason why we are saying, all the parties concerned,
we wish that they conduct themselves in a very peaceful and exemplary manner on the day.”

The opening of Parliament is the biggest gathering on the Parliamentary calendar. Amidst speculation of what might happen, officials are meticulously adding the final touches. Preparations will intensify as SONA approaches.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) staff will be among hundreds of journalists updating the public.

Parliament’s Acting Media Manager, Modise Kabeni says, “We've had 800 applications for accreditation this year which is higher
than we usually get. We usually get about 600 or 650 but this year we have [received] 800.”

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