MPs model for journos

2012-02-09 18:51
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Opening of Parliament

Take a look at politicians and VIPs arriving on the red carpet at the 2012 opening of Parliament.

Cape Town - MPs in customised dresses and tailored suits modelled for a throng of photographers outside the National Assembly ahead of President Jacob Zuma's state-of-the-nation speech on Thursday night.

Photographers snapped shots of Cindy Chikunga, chairperson of the police portfolio committee, as she strolled down the red carpet in a red and gold sari-like dress bought in Durban.

"I wanted to wear something different, something multi-cultural, that I've never worn before," Chikunga told reporters who were kept in an enclosure behind a rope.

"I went into the shop and said make me beautiful."

The Democratic Alliance's parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko posed in her cream dress, designed by Christian du Toit.

ANC MP Pinky Mncube raised pulses with a red dress showing off an enormous cleavage, with a tattoo of a rose on her right breast.

ANC MP Mwelo Nonkonyana wore a multi-coloured Amapondo outfit and told journalists he wanted to see a day when "all kings are part of Parliament".

Dali Tambo, the son of the late ANC leader Oliver Tambo, and his wife Rachel raised their fists on several occasions as they strolled, smiling into the assembly.

The arrival of the MPs was conducted amid strict and unusual security.

In previous years, journalists were able to line the sides of the red carpet and interview MPs as they arrived. This year they were kept in a small holding pen and warned not to step outside.

A particularly stern police officer warned a journalist who had stepped outside the enclosure to escape the heat of the sun that she should "watch out".

"Get behind the rope," the burly, wide-shouldered, walkie talkie-holding policeman said.

"And don't laugh at me. You don't want to see my bad side."

Outside Parliament the streets, which had been sealed off and were heavily guarded by the police, were empty of the usual crowds and vehicles.

In one area, fewer than 10 people stood with their eyes fixed on the red carpet inside Parliament, behind a boom gate and a metal detector.

Asked if they were interested in the arrival of the MPs, a woman among the group said: "I'm just waiting for them to let me cross the road."

"They made me close my shop early," a man said.

"When I can cross here I'm going home."

Read more on:    jacob zuma

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