State of the nation address postponed

ANC executive arm to decide Zuma’s fate Wednesday

06 February 2018 - 14:43 By TimesLIVE and Reuters
Baleka Mbete
Baleka Mbete
Image: AFP

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete announced on Tuesday that this year's state of the nation address had been postponed.

"We are listening to political stakeholders and members of the public in making this decision‚" Mbete told a hastily called press conference.

Mbete also revealed that "we are in continuing discussions with the president of the ANC (SA deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa) as he is the leader of government business in Parliament".

"We are also in contact with all political parties."

Mbete further said: "We learned that the president was already writing to Parliament to request the postponement".

Opposition parties had asked that the speech, which President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to deliver on Thursday, be postponed until after a no-confidence vote on Zuma’s leadership.

Mbete has scheduled the no-confidence vote for February 22.

Zuma, whose presidency has been marred by graft scandals and economic decline, has been in a weakened position since he was replaced as leader of the ANC by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December.

The ANC has called a special meeting of its decision-making national executive committee for Wednesday. Analysts have said some members of the party attending that meeting could call for Zuma to resign.

EFF leader Julius Malema‚ commenting on the postponement, predicted that Zuma's resignation was imminent.

The 2018 State of the Nation Address has been postponed.

National Council of Provinces chair Thandi Modise says that a week will be enough to resolve the issues that forced her and Mbete to postpone the annual address.

“We do have a proposal [to postpone] by not more than a week. So‚ if we can‚ a week will be sufficient‚” Modise said during a Q&A session after the hastily called briefing on Tuesday.


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