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Mashabane calls cut signal a 'technical glitch'

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane says the cut signal was a glitch, for now.

FILE: Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom backed her up saying ANC MPs were equally as shocked when they didn’t have signal. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Government ministers say the jamming of the cellphone signal at the State of the Nation (Sona) Address was simply a technical glitch and say they were just as surprised not to have signal.

Journalists and opposition party MPs complained about the jamming of the signal in Parliament on Thursday night.

It was a night of high drama as the Sona was marred by flying fists and mass walkouts.

Reports say Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa asked for a jamming service to be switched off with media houses now wanting to take the matter to court.

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane says, "I'll call it a technical glitch, until the full investigation by the Presidency and Parliament to say we all need to know what happened."

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom backed her up saying ANC MPs were equally as shocked when they didn't have signal.

However, this contradicts reports that a blocking mechanism was installed in the House to deliberately cut the signal and the opposition has called for a full investigation.

Speaking at the ANC North West provincial conference yesterday, Mbete was reported to have said the ANC must work or there will be "cockroaches like Malema roaming all over the place".

The comment comes just two days after her tense standoff with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema at Sona.

At the same time ANC North West chair Supra Mahumapelo says he supports National Speaker Baleka Mbete's call for ANC members to "fight the EFF".

Mahumapelo says Malema should respect his elders.

"In life you can still make your point firmly without showing disrespect and undermining the presiding officers, particularly, those who are elderly, because ma Baleka Mbete is a mother to Julius Malema so he must show respect to ma Baleka."

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says it is not unusual to eliminate foreign land ownership as South Africa intends to do.

Hanekom joined his fellow ministers in the cluster of International Cooperations, Trade and Security at a media briefing in Parliament today.

The ministers tabled their plans for 2015 as per President Jacob Zuma's Sona.

Hanekom responded to criticism regarding government's intention to put land ownership restrictions on foreign nationals.

"It's not unusual, in fact many, many countries in the world do not allow foreign ownership of land, including developed countries, OECD countries, rapidly developing countries don't rely on foreign ownership of land."

Hanekom adds existing foreign land owners are not under threat of the new regulations.

"It's not saying that existing owners of land will have to convert their titles into a lease hold, that's not on the table at the moment."

Zuma came under fire for not condemning the looting of foreign owned shops across the country last month during his Sona.

If the president passes the controversial bill, foreigners may only own land in a business capacity, if the dominant shareholder of an enterprise is controlled from abroad.

WATCH: Sona 2015: Malema vs Mbete.