EFF leader Julius Malema was warned not to disrupt Sona. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA
EFF leader Julius Malema was warned not to disrupt Sona. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

What to expect from Thursday's SONA 2020

By STAFF REPORTER Time of article published Feb 10, 2020

Share this article:

Johannesburg - Parliament should brace itself for yet another disruption during proceedings when President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the National Address (SONA) on Thursday.

This after the EFF on Sunday repeated its threat of disruption should Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan not be axed from the Cabinet.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise told a media briefing last week that there was only SONA as an item on the agenda when Ramaphosa was hosted.

Modise also said the rules of joint sitting would apply.

Should the EFF go ahead with its threat, the parliamentary proceedings are likely to be delayed for up to an hour or more.

This will be due to a possible push by the EFF to interrupt Ramaphosa and make its demand on the axing of Gordhan.

As in other disruptions of the past years during former president Jacob Zuma's term, there is likely to be points of orders and demands to speak on the item, though it is not part of the agenda.

This will require Modise or National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo to stamp their authority and order MPs not complying with their order to leave the Chamber.

In the event such a member or members refuse to do so, the Sergeant‑at‑Arms might be asked to remove the members from the Chamber.

According to the rules, the Sergeant-at-Arms approaches the affected member or members to explain in a respectful manner that the instruction of the presiding officer must be complied with and that failure to do so can constitute a grave offence.

"If the member still refuses to leave, the Sergeant-at-Arms indicates to the presiding officer that the member refuses to comply, whereupon the presiding officer informs the House that the parliamentary protection services are to be called upon to assist.

"The parliamentary protection services personnel enter the Chamber upon the instruction of the presiding officer, and proceed to remove the member(s) concerned under the direction of the Sergeant-at-Arms," read the rules.

The parliamentary protection services are popularly known as white shirts or bouncers.

Walkouts may not be ruled out depending on how events pan out should there be defiant MPs not complying with rules and possibly clashes with parliamentary officers.

The anticipated drama that may ensue could see heightened security in the parliamentary precinct especially if there will be protests.

Political Bureau

Share this article:

Related Articles