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Baleka Mbete adamant Sona will run smoothly this year

Mbete has told diplomats preparations are in place to ensure Jacob Zuma’s Sona runs smoothly.

President Jacob Zuma and Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete arriving ahead of the State of the Nation Address in Cape Town on 12 February 2015. Picture: GCIS.
SONA,Baleka Mbete,National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete
Local Politics

CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has told diplomats in Pretoria that preparations are in place to ensure President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) next month runs smoothly.

Mbete and other presiding officers of Parliament met with members of the diplomatic corps yesterday.

Zuma's speech last year saw pandemonium reign when cellphone signals were jammed and the entire Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) caucus was roughly ejected by plain-clothed security officials.

Parliament says the diplomats were briefed on logistical arrangements for Sona and security for the event, which was marred by mayhem and violence last year.

Mbete also fielded questions on the possible disruption of the speech, which marks the opening of Parliament.

Eyewitness News understands this is the first time Parliament has briefed diplomats ahead of Sona, suggesting security may be tighter than before.

Tough new rules governing the conduct of Members of Parliament have been drawn up, but have yet to be adopted by Parliament.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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