Zuma to deliver State of the Nation address amid threats

2015-02-11 22:09
(Sumaya Hisham, Pool, AP)

(Sumaya Hisham, Pool, AP)

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

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma will deliver his eighth State of the Nation address on Thursday amid tight security following threats of disruptions.

The EFF on Tuesday repeated its threat to interrupt his annual address by asking him questions about his Nkandla homestead.

"The EFF will ask questions to Zuma during the Sona [State of the Nation address] because Zuma has not been coming to Parliament and we do not believe that Zuma will come to be held accountable in Parliament," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

Despite the threat, Parliament has said it was satisfied with security arrangements for the event. The legislature's presiding officers have vowed to apply rules and conventions strictly during the speech.

Parliament's protection officers and police will be deployed inside the National Assembly building.

"The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, which co-ordinates all security and law enforcement for the president's annual State of the Nation address... is satisfied with the progress being made with its security planning," police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said in a statement on Wednesday.

The precinct would be closed to the public, except for those accredited to attend the event, including MPs, journalists, and members of the diplomatic corps.

"The nation at large, particularly the community of Cape Town, is advised that there will be limited access in areas surrounding Parliament, meaning that there will be road closures and parking restrictions," said Makgale.

A no-fly zone will be set up over the precinct, except for SA Air Force jets, which will do a fly-over shortly before Zuma's speech.

While security measures had been increased, the withdrawal of parliamentary workers' voluntary services from the State of the Nation address could cause some headaches for Parliament's management.

Talks in deadlock

On Tuesday night, talks between Parliament's management and Nehawu over a 13th cheque deadlocked again, prompting the union to announce it would follow through with its plans.

"The secretary to Parliament made commitments that the matters we have raised will be addressed, but when we requested him to put these commitments on pen and paper, he refused," said National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) Western Cape secretary Luthando Nogcinisa.

Nehawu denied it was using State of the Nation address to bargain with Parliament.

"Our objective is not to disrupt the Sona [State of the Nation address] as it has been reported by some media houses," Nogcinisa said.

"Our only objective is to highlight the plight of workers in Parliament."

The union has over 900 members employed by Parliament, some of whom perform voluntary services during the State of the Nation address.

"They include things like the choir, the ushers who would take guests from the airport to Parliament, and usher MPs and so on," said Nogcinisa.

It was not clear whether Parliament had made alternative arrangements to offset the effects the withdrawal of Nehawu's service would have on the event.

"We are in talks with them and we'll communicate with them directly on issues of mutual concern. We will not conduct our negotiations in the media," said Parliament's spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs.

Nehawu is demanding a 13th cheque for workers, and that workers' pay be equalised.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  state of the nation 2015  |  parliament 2015

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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 24.com 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.