Parliament - The State of The Nation Address (SONA) will be delivered by whoever the South African President is on February 8, Parliament's presiding officers said on Thursday.
"We have absolutely no intention as presiding officers to approach any president to say you must not come and give the State Of The Nation address. Remember that for us it is a president or the president that writes to us. Whoever is president will address us," said National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairwoman Thandi Modise, briefing journalists on preparations for next week's SONA to be delivered to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and NCOP.
Modise and fellow presiding officers were asked whether it was factoring in a possibility that President Jacob Zuma would not be the head of state next week after the African National Congress indicated its top six officals were discussing "options" with the president to prevent him from being impeached.
The Democratic Alliance have also written to National Assembly Speaker asking for the SONA to be postponed until Zuma is removed. According to the party's leader Mmusi Maimane, last year's SONA cost over R11 million and "we cannot afford to waste this amount of public money for Jacob Zuma to deliver the government’s programme of action for the coming year in his SONA, when it is not likely that he will remain the President of the Republic much longer".
The Economic Freedom Fighters have asked for a motion of no confidence debate to be scheduled ahead of the speech. The latter has for the past few years disrupted the SONA, with its MPs saying it did not recognise the legitimacy of the Zuma presidency.
"We have received this request to address Parliament. That has been processed. This is why preparations in place. It cannot be there's a threat of disruption, we can have a head of state not come to speak here," said deputy National Assembly speaker Lechesa Tsenoli.
African News Agency and IOL