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Which former leaders will attend Sona?

Preparations in the Cape Town City Hall this week before the State of the Nation Address. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane - African News Agency (ANA)

Preparations in the Cape Town City Hall this week before the State of the Nation Address. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane - African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 9, 2022

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Former president Jacob Zuma may miss this year’s State of the Nation Address after Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said only ex-president Thabo Mbeki would attend the event on Thursday.

Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday that she was certain of only three former leaders who would attend Sona.

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“(On) former presidents, former president Mbeki will be attending, former deputy president (Phumzile) Mlambo-Ngcuka and former deputy president and speaker (Baleka) Mbete. I am certain about the three. Since yesterday these are the three I am certain will be attending,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

Other former speakers would be attending the event, namely Frene Ginwala and Max Sisulu, she said.

Mbete served as speaker a few years ago. She also served as deputy president when Kgalema Motlanthe became president from late 2008 until the 2009 elections.

Mapisa-Nqakula said that out of 894 media personnel who applied to be accredited to cover Sona, only 300 would be allowed to do it.

“For this Sona, Parliament has received 894 applications for accreditation from various members of the media wishing to cover the event. After a meticulous vetting process, and due to space limitation, only 300 accredited media personnel will be at the venue,” she said.

They also had to limit the number of people attending Sona because of Covid-19 regulations, she added.

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This also applied to MPs who would be in the city hall for Sona.

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