EFF slams ‘wasteful’ heavy police presence at toned-down Sona

12 February 2021 - 09:33
By Cebelihle Bhengu
The 2021 Sona was attended by only 50 MPs due to the coronavirus pandemic. File photo.
Image: GCIS The 2021 Sona was attended by only 50 MPs due to the coronavirus pandemic. File photo.

The EFF on Thursday criticised the heavy police presence in parliament for the state of the nation address (Sona).

The red berets said this “distracted” police resources from combating violent crimes in communities.

This year’s Sona was low budget and broke most traditions with only 50 members in attendance while the rest of the MPs attended virtually.

Sona 2021 cost SA R100,000 of the R2.2mn set aside for the event. 

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Despite this, the EFF said government missed out on an opportunity to save the country more money by spending on the deployment of law enforcement officials.

The party accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of collaborating with police minister Bheki Cele on what it termed “the looting of resources” during a pandemic.

“There is no logic to the deployment of police in a parliament that is largely set to be attended virtually, where there are no guests and as a result no threats to be combated.

“Why should taxpayers’ money be unnecessarily wasted for an individual like Cyril Ramaphosa, who can’t even guarantee simple, life-saving resources like vaccines which are desperately needed by South Africans,” said the party. 

While some agreed with the EFF,  many said the deployment of law enforcement in parliament was justified.