NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete address the media on the postponement of the State of the Nation Address. Picture: Parliament/Twitter

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the decision by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to postpone the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Mbete announced on Tuesday that SONA will be delayed and a new date is yet to be announced.

She said what prompted Parliament's decision is the the fear of a possible repeat of previous disruptions of Sona addresses.

Last week, DA called on Sona to be postponed and joined other opposition parties in their calls for Zuma to be barred from Sona.

"We cannot waste money, time, nor another iota of our dwindling credibility on the international stage by allowing Jacob Zuma to deliver the State of the Nation Address," said DA in a statement.

"The ANC is in complete turmoil and being held to ransom by Jacob Zuma. At a price tag of over R11 million in taxpayers money, Sona cannot be reduced to a public relations exercise for a man on the precipice of impeachment and possible jail time."

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The opposition party said that Sona can only proceed if Zuma is removed as President of South Africa.

Therefore, the DA said it will write to Mbete to ensure that their impeachment motion 'is urgently placed back on the order paper' and have requested that a new president be elected via a special sitting next week.

"We flatly reject any amnesty agreement or special deal for Jacob Zuma. He is not above the law, and must still face the 783 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering against him which were erroneously dropped almost a decade ago."

The ANC said it respected the decision to postpone SONA and "understand that this decision was arrived at based on a shared understanding that there is a need to deliver this important address in a conducive political environment."

A meeting of the NEC at which the party's leadership was expected to discuss President Zuma's future, which is scheduled for Wednesday, will take place as planned, the party said.

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip has also welcomed the postponement of Sona.

"The ANC Caucus will await the outcomes of the National Executive Committee (NEC) scheduled for tomorrow to give guidance to Caucus on the way forward," said the ANC.