Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Michele Spatari/AP/African News Agency (ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Michele Spatari/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Yes, Jacob Zuma will attend Ramaphosa's SONA for the first time

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 12, 2020

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Cape Town - Former President Jacob Zuma will attend President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Thursday. This comes after Parliament confirmed on Wednesday that Zuma will show up for the event.

It will be the first time the former president has attended any of Ramaphosa's SONAs, after he snubbed the event in 2018 and the two SONAs held last year. Zuma also snubbed Ramaphosa's inaugaration after the ANC was victorious in the 2019 election. 

Zuma reluctantly resigned as state president two years ago after Ramaphosa emerged as party president at the ANC's national elective conference in Nasrec, in 2017. He was replaced by Ramaphosa.

Last week, Speaker Thandi Modise had said Zuma had not yet confirmed whether he will attend. Modise said they sent invitations to all former presidents and speakers of the National Assembly.

Former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and FW de Klerk had confirmed their attendance.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Parliament said Zuma would attend the SONA on Thursday.

“Former President J Zuma will attend #SONA 2020,” read the tweet.

This will be Zuma's first public appearence since the Pietermaritzburg High Court issued a warrant of arrest for his non-appearance in court last week. The High Court was not happy with the medical certificate submitted by Zuma’s legal team.

Zuma had not attended the Zondo Commission of Inquiry last year after citing ill-health.

His legal team said it would arrange a meeting between Deputy Judge President Raymond Zondo with Zuma’s medical team to explain the condition that has prevented him from attending the hearing.

* On Wednesday afternoon Zuma's lawyers issued a statement saying he will not be attending the SONA. Read the story here.

Political Bureau

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