President Cyril Ramaphosa greets Deputy President David Mabuza in the National Assembly ahead of his State of the Nation Address. Picture: Esa Alexander/Pool
President Cyril Ramaphosa greets Deputy President David Mabuza in the National Assembly ahead of his State of the Nation Address. Picture: Esa Alexander/Pool

15 pictures of a SONA unlike any other

By IOL Time of article published Feb 11, 2021

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA), marking the opening of Parliament, under very different circumstances yesterday due to Covid-19 safety protocols

Sona took place as the country is currently under level 3 of the risk-adjusted lockdown.

The hybrid event was held virtually for the first time with only 50 members of Parliament in the National Assembly, as part of regulations put in place for social distancing.

The usually bustling parliamentary precinct was mostly empty as most of the traditional pomp and ceremony, including the red carpet fashion walk, was cancelled.

There was a heavy police presence in the streets around Parliament amid rumours of planned protests.

Police monitor the streets around Parliament in Cape Town amid rumours of protests. Some police were on foot and others on horses, with Nyala amoured personnel carriers and water cannons standing by. Phando Jikelo ANA

A small group of protesters from the South African Students Congress (Sasco) were pushed back to the Grand Parade.

Picture: GCIS
Picture: GCIS
Picture: GCIS

Before he took to the podium to deliver his address, Ramaphosa took part in a candle-lighting ceremony and a moment of silence to remember the more than 47 000 people in South Africa who have lost their battle with Covid-19.

The traditional praise singer was also replaced by spoken word performer Siphokazi Jonas, who delivered a verse written for the occasion.

Picture: GCIS
The traditional praise singer was also replaced by spoken word performer Siphokazi Jonas, who delivered a verse specially written for the occasion.

Picture: GCIS
Picture: GCIS
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina greets a colleague ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address. | Esa Alexander/Pool
Picture: GCIS

IOL

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