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Cape Town - MPs, cabinet ministers, celebrities and other dignitaries poured into the National Assembly building on Thursday for President Jacob Zuma's state-of-the-nation address.
The uniquely dressed were, however, first stopping to pose for photographs.
MP Chief Mandla Mandela, barefoot and dressed in traditional Xhosa attire, was a favourite as photographers snapped him smiling and doing a slow spin to show off his attire.
Several other MPs and their partners went the traditional route. Their colleagues were clothed in formal suits and Western creations.
Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni had a big fan base and resembled a model, spending time on the red carpet in her aquamarine raw silk and lace dress and matching ostrich feather purse.
The National Assembly chamber was packed with politicians and guests.
By 6pm, the president and his military and police escort had not yet arrived. However, the police had cleared the red carpet for the procession.
Zuma is expected to start speaking at 7pm. - Sapa