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Parly to investigate Zuma’s deployment of Sona troops

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says the party could find no record of President Zuma having informed Parliament of the troop deployment in 2016.

FILE: An SANDF soldier patrols in the streets near the Parliament ahead of the State Of The Nation Address. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Parliament is set to probe whether President Jacob Zuma failed to inform it that he was deploying troops at last year’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has asked Parliament’s powers and privileges committee to investigate.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) raised the matter during a question and answer session with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year when heightened security at Parliament and the deployment of 400 soldiers for February's Sona came under fire.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen says the party could find no record of Zuma having informed Parliament of the 2016 troop deployment as he is bound to do by the Constitution and the law.

Steenhuisen says: "It’s a very fundamental principle of civilian oversight over the deployment of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) and that’s why both the Defence Act and the Constitution require the president to follow certain steps when he deploys the SANDF, particularly outside their mandate."

Steenhuisen says the party wants answers so that a bad precedent is not set.

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