Zuma arrives for highly anticipated Sona

2016-02-11 19:02

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma arrived at Parliament on Thursday evening for one of the most highly anticipated State of the Nation Addresses of his career. 

Zuma, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and dark red tie, was accompanied by Bongi Ngema-Zuma in an ice-blue gown, after arriving in a white Mercedes Benz bus.

Zuma stood with his hand over his heart as the national anthem played, before walking into the National Assembly. 

Next to him was Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who arrived earlier in a black BMW. 

The Parliament Protection Services officers were mostly stationed outside the doors of the National Assembly.

Earlier police had to fire stun grenades to protesters after clashing with EFF protesters near Parliament. 

Razor wire and more police reinforcements were rolled out near Parliament after hundreds of Ses'khona People's Rights Movement members attempted to break through a barrier fencing to make their way onto Parliament's precinct.

Hundreds of protesters, who had earlier gathered in the Cape Town CBD for an anti-racism march, had moved to Barrack Street near Parliament's precinct.

The EFF, who were removed from the National Assembly during last year's Sona after disrupting proceedings said they would do the same on Thursday. 

They said they would question the president over his decision to axe finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. 

Zuma dismissed Nene in December, replacing him with relatively unknown ANC member and former Merafong mayor David van Rooyen.

Following public outrage and the rand falling to new lows against the dollar, Zuma replaced Van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan.


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