Eerie quiet outside Parliament ahead of SONA

2017-02-09 09:36
Streets outside Parliament (James de Villiers, News24)

Streets outside Parliament (James de Villiers, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Only the sound of footsteps of people on their way to work broke the eerie silence on streets surrounding Parliament on Thursday morning.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

This was as several roads and walkways were closed and fenced off on Wednesday evening in preparation for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening.

There was a strong police presence throughout the city centre.

There was no sign of SA National Defence Force soldiers. 

On Tuesday Zuma signed an order for the deployment of 441 soldiers to the opening of Parliament.

News24 on Wednesday learnt that the deployment follows intelligence reports which suggested massive unrest and the erection of shacks as a symbolic protest at SONA.

A removal company has allegedly already been appointed in anticipation of the protest.

Zuma blasted at 'real SONA'

On Queen Victoria Street next to the Company's Garden on Thursday morning police told News24 that no photos were allowed.

"We will confiscate your phone," an officer said.

SaveSA banners at St George's Cathedral were taken down, allegedly in an effort to protect them against vandalism.

The organisation hosted its "real State of the Nation Address" in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Its convener Sipho Pityana blasted Zuma at the event, saying the country had "absolutely lost confidence" in his ability to lead.

"You have set the promising steps of your predecessors back many years," Pityana told hundreds of people at the event.

"Under your leadership, all their gains have been reversed, and now look at the mess you've plunged our country in.

"Please don't invite us to your altar of fools by promising you will do better tomorrow [at SONA]. All you have left to offer us now is the word 'radical', which means absolutely nothing."

Read more on:    cape town  |  sona 2017

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.