SONA: MPs listen, but very little applauseComment on this story
Parliament, Cape Town - The body language of MPs varied as they listened to President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on Thursday night.
Members of Zuma's Cabinet were the most responsive to Zuma's speech, which focused largely on the economy and the need for greater job creation.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan sat with his fingers intertwined, and did not applaud while Zuma reflected on the economy. He did applaud a few times later on during the speech, but sat mostly with his head bowed.
Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu kept her focus on Zuma, nodding as he spoke.
National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini were among the few members of the executive who took notes as Zuma spoke.
Members of the opposition did very little to no clapping.
It was Zuma's announcement that sign language would be included in the school curriculum that had MPs roaring with laughter. Opposition party MPs immediately started doing their own sign language interpretations, waving their hands in the air and signalling to their colleagues in the ANC benches. The ANC MPs signed back and heckled their opposition counterparts.