Members of the SANDF take part in a parade during their preparation for the presidential inauguration at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Saturday. Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - South African National Defence Force personnel will, for the first time, display a show of force during a parade at the presidential inauguration at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Saturday.

Members of the SA Army, Air Force, Navy, Military Service and the National Ceremonial Guard will form part of the display.

SANDF Captain Chris Khumalo said: “It is the first time we are going to have a parade with all army services represented for the inauguration, because normally it is only the Ceremonial Guard.”

The battalion yesterday took part in the integrated rehearsal at the stadium with less than 48 hours to go before Ramaphosa takes his oath of office.

Khumalo said it was not unusual to have the battalion saluting the president during the inauguration ceremony.

“It is just that in the past the inauguration was always done at the Union Buildings, and because of the space, we could not have the entire battalion.

“It is a show of force that we will display.”

One of the aspects that will set this inauguration apart from others will be when the preamble of the Constitution will be handed over to the president.

Khumalo said: “What is also going to be different is that the preamble of the Constitution will be given by the defence force to the president. Normally it is the chief justice who gives it to the president.”

For the first time in the history of the presidential inauguration, access to the venue will be given to at least 32000 members of the public, who will get an opportunity to see the proceedings live.

Khumalo said the public would be enthralled by the flypast by military aircraft.

“All the air force aircraft will be represented, and ones from the museum as well.

“For the flypast, which will be the salute itself, there will be several helicopters. Two will be carrying the national flag and two carrying the defence force flag,” he said.

The SANDF could not disclose the number of aircraft to be showcased on the day, except that it would bring “anything and everything that flies”.

The integrated rehearsals will continue today and tomorrow.

Police Minister Bheki Cele was this morning scheduled to address and inspect the law enforcement parade prior to deployment in preparation for the inauguration.

Several heads of state and thousands of South Africans will attend the ceremony, and therefore, an effective and efficient security presence at the event will be paramount.

Pretoria News