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Parliament hopes new rule will ensure Sona runs smoothly

Parliament has implemented a new rule allowing for the removal of unruly MPs during Zuma’s address.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver his address next Thursday evening. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - As preparations for next week's State of the Nation (Sona) address get underway in earnest, Parliament is hoping a new rule allowing for the removal of unruly Members of Parliament (MPs) will ensure the event runs smoothly.

Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana and officials briefed journalists yesterday.

President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver his address next Thursday evening.

Last year's event saw pandemonium after cellphone signals were jammed and Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) MPs were forcibly ejected after they refused the presiding officer's orders to leave.

Mgidlana was asked if he was confident MPs would abide by the new rule allowing for the removal of defiant MPs.

"We have honourable members who themselves debated these issues and agreed on these issues… We have no reason on our side as the administration to second-guess them in that regard."

Points of order or privilege will be off limits during Zuma's address, but will be allowed when parties debate his speech over two days the following week.

Mgidlana says security will be tight but that there'll be no repeat of the cellphone signal jamming that sparked outrage last year.