Zuma's glasses don't become spectacle

2012-02-09 22:47
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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 - The State of the Nation address in Parliament on Thursday enthralled most, bored some and clearly gave a few politicians something to think about.

But one thing was clear: President Jacob Zuma was adamant his glasses would not make a spectacle of him.

Just before delivering his much-awaited speech, Zuma took off his glasses, wiped his ears and then made sure to wipe his glasses too so they would not slip down the bridge of his nose.

In the past, Zuma's loose glasses have been the topic of conversation for many.

Some even took part in a game for this year's speech called: state-of-the-nation undress, where viewers would have to remove an item of clothing every time Zuma pushed up his glasses, coughed, laughed, said "absolutely" or "poverty", or seemed distracted by an attractive woman in the House.

As a result of this year's speech many citizens were left without clothes.

A user on social networking site Twitter, @Jonathan_Witt, said: "Surely there is an optometrist who can sponsor President Zuma a pair of glasses that fit snugly onto his face."

Inventor of the game, radio DJ @GarethCliff said: "We're totally screwed. That was a cough, laugh, push, cough, laugh combo. I'm down to 4 items."

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, complete with scarlet headpiece, did not have time for games. He spent his time studiously taking notes, as did Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, albeit with a more modern approach on his laptop.

Zuma's wives, dressed to the nines, had an eagle eye's view of their husband from the gallery. His latest spouse Thobeka Madiba seemed a bit sleepy though and rested her eyes for moments, while second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli smiled adoringly.

Down below, the nine premiers seemed quite jovial and often nudged each other or giggled. When Zuma made mention of good news for one of their provinces, the premier concerned would nod at the others proudly.

Some of Zuma's announcements were more of a hit than others.

The house rocked with loud whistling and applause to the president's comment that the willing buyer, willing seller strategy had not adequately addressed land redistribution.

The audience applauded and ululated to acknowledge a proposed law that would criminalise the act of fronting, used by companies to circumvent the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

Zuma's speech was largely praised for being more decisive and focused, zooming in mostly on the economy.

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