EFF takes 'wait and see' approach leading up to SONA

2017-02-09 13:10
Barbed wire in front of St. George's Cathedral (James de Villiers, News24)

Barbed wire in front of St. George's Cathedral (James de Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town - "Wait and see," EFF caucus members Shadrack Tlhaole, Mmabatho Mokause and Nkagisang Mokgosi told News24 outside Parliament on Thursday in response to questions about what can be expected from President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nations Address (SONA).

Earlier this week the EFF issued a statement saying it would hold Zuma accountable.

"As the EFF, we shall never be deterred. No amount of security and intimidation will deter us from holding Zuma accountable in terms of the constitution. We will defend the constitution to the end and with whatever revolutionary means possible," it said.

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

South African Defence Force (SANDF) troops were seen making their way to Parliament on Thursday morning, in preparation for Zuma's address at 19:00.

On Tuesday Zuma authorised the deployment of 441 SANDF troops to help the SAPS maintain "law and order" during SONA. This is in contrast to previous years when they only played a ceremonial role.

There was a heavy police presence throughout the CBD on Thursday.

Eight SANDF members were seen walking from the Grand Parade towards Parliament where they entered the building.

In Wale Street barbed wire was transported by police vehicles behind fenced off streets.

No photos

Police told News24 that the barbed wire would only be erected "in case of [an] emergency".

The wire was stored next to St George's Cathedral, where SaveSA held its alternative SONA on Wednesday.

Several officers asked News24 to refrain from taking photos.

"We are going to confiscate your phone," one officer said on Victoria Street after asking the journalist for identification.

Plein Street, in front of Parliament, has been abuzz with activity with several high-profile parliamentary employees and security officials arriving throughout the morning.

Read more on:    eff  |  cape town  |  sona 2017  |  parliament 2017

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