Zuma to have 'high tea' as uproar over army deployment grows

2017-02-08 14:03
President Jacob Zuma (File, Netwerk24)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma is hosting a high tea with special State of the Nation guests on Wednesday afternoon, while an uproar grows over his deployment of 441 soldiers for the opening of Parliament. 

News24 reported that intelligence operatives received an early warning of a massive uprising targeting Thursday's SONA.  Several well-placed sources say this warning prompted Zuma to authorise the deployment of the soldiers to assist police in “law and order” activities. 

The presidency issued a statement on Wednesday saying that on the eve of SONA, Zuma invites special guests to "acknowledge the good work that they have done and continue to do in the development and promotion of the country and its people as well as the sacrifices they have made during the struggle for liberation". 

Some of the guests included that family of late ANC president OR Tambo, the family of Miriam Makeba, struggle veteran and former MP General Ike Maphoto, and Primrose Goge - the KwaZulu-Natal medical nurse who detected an abnormal occurrence in a fetus that ultimately spared the life of an unborn child - among others. 

“We are looking forward to hosting and acknowledging these distinguished individuals and their families for their immense contribution in the struggle for liberation and the development of our country," Zuma said.

"The opening of Parliament and the State of the Nation Address is a very important event for our country as it reminds us of our history and the long journey that of our country has taken to ensure a better life for all."

Several opposition parties, NGOs and others have criticised Zuma's deployment of SANDF members. 

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement: “We condemn this initiative as the unleashing of the army on the people of South Africa. It must be seen as the declaration of war on citizens, which means Zuma is planning to murder those he disagrees with at the SONA". 

Read more on:    sandf  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  sona 2017

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