Mechanisms in place to ensure dignified Sona, says parliament

11 February 2020 - 15:43 By ERNEST MABUZA
Presiding officers in parliament have reassured the public that sufficient mechanisms are in place to ensure an orderly state of the nation address on Thursday.
Presiding officers in parliament have reassured the public that sufficient mechanisms are in place to ensure an orderly state of the nation address on Thursday.
Image: Anton Scholtz. File photo

The presiding officers of Parliament on Tuesday said they had mechanisms in place to maintain decorum and dignity during the state of the nation (Sona) address on Thursday - and for any programme of parliament.

The reassurance by the officers follows a threat by the EFF on Sunday that it will continue with plans to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address unless he fires public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

“Open threats to disrupt the work of parliament, including the propagation of conspiracy theories, are not in the interests of the public. They serve only as attempts to distract parliament from its work,” said parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

He said existing joint rules of parliament sufficiently protected sittings of the houses and committees from disorder.

Mothopo said parties or MPs with evidence of any alleged plot to unlawfully use police in the chamber during the state of the nation address are advised to submit it to the presiding officers.

He said parliament and public representatives had an obligation to ensure a conducive environment for the Sona.

“The presiding officers are looking forward to a successful state of the nation address and are pleased with the state of readiness for this important occasion, as they prepare to host more than 2,000 invited guests on Thursday.”


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