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Fri Aug 26 10:37:04 SAST 2016

#SONA2016 dominates Twitter chatter

TMG Digital | 11 February, 2016 12:06
Members of the military guard rehearse during preparations for the State of the Nation Address #SONA2016
Image by: SA Gov News ‏@SAgovnews via Twitter

“#SONA2016 Already trending?” asked a seemingly surprised Lesedi de Wee ‏@Sedi_R.

The answer was yes‚ and President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address‚ which starts at 7pm on Thursday night‚ was likely to dominate social media all day.

Many Twitter users hoped Zuma would take the opportunity to bow out of office and politics.

“How about any Jedi mind tricks to get the president to resign? #SONA2016‚” suggested Just Sayin... ‏@ThaboLowe.

INSIDE Mmusi @DA Fed ‏@Lmtyobile mused:

Most of the talk was about the expected interruptions to the speech promised by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its leader Julius Malema.

zenobia gillion ‏@ZengFuey responded to 702 @Radio702 tweets which said National Assembly speaker “Baleka Mbete says she's feeling relaxed & told @702JohnRobbie that she won't allow any interruptions at #Sona2016” with “#EFF&Mr Malema shuld respect nation & allow president speak; not be #SONA2016 anarchists. Gung-ho attitude negative.”

NokuzolaNdwandwe ‏@ZolaNdwandwe seemed to think the EFF’s threats were disingenuous considering Malema’s past links to the president: “EFF supporters cannot tell us that they want Jacob Zuma to go but still have his loyalist Julius M lead them #SONA2016”.

Lawrence Ruele ‏@DjNawtySA took a different tack and suggested Zuma being allowed to give his address would be his own undoing: “The end of Zuma will be letting him speak tonight. His whole crew is prepared for interruptions. #SONA2016”.

He had earlier pondered an interruption-free talk: “Imagine how freaked out Zuma will be in nobody says a single word‚ no commotion‚ no clapping‚ no laughter‚ nothing. #SONA2016”.

Mzee Events ‏@FihlaDancep seemed more concerned about Zuma getting past the big numbers in his speech: “I pray that his excellency will spend most of his day going through his speech. Or at least rewrite those figures in words. #SONA2016”.

Much of the online chatter was given over to the security around the parliamentary precinct.

POWER987 News ‏@POWER987News tweeted that: “#Parli staff tell us that they have been told not to come to work today‚ for the first time in 22 years #SONA2016”‚ while Marlon Mapling ‏@MarlonMapling added: “#SONA2016 @eNCA Big day for the country and all eyes on the assembly.Yes there was extraordinary security measures taken #balekambete”.

IG: st_ollie ‏@Olwethu_Deliwe was one of the few Twitter users concerned about the actual content of Zuma’s speech: “We are yet to see what will #SONA2016 being for us as ordinary people. We hope it's not gonna be about politicians but rather voters!”

But‚ for Nqaba Mangcu ‏@NqabaMangcu‚ traffic seemed the most important issue of the day: “Such an pleasant drive to work this morning... Looks like a lot of people have taken off work for #SONA2016”.

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