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[LISTEN] Tsenoli defends Sona security arrangements

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli defended broader security arrangements as a response to heightened protests over the past two-and-a-half years.

Lechesa Tsenoli, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has reassured the media that all systems will be working and no one will be suppressed.

Tsenoli defended broader security arrangements as a response to heightened protests over the past two-and-a-half years.

Parliament’s press gallery association has been informed that journalists would be corralled in a designated “media square” in the precinct ahead of Zuma’s speech and that they would not be allowed to move to another area without an escort.

The Presidency on Tuesday night announced that President Jacob Zuma had authorised 441 SANDF members to be deployed at Parliament between 5 and 10 February to maintain law and order.

Tsenoli was questioned about the decision during a briefing at Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Journalists asked Tsenoli for a written assurance that they’d be free to move around Parliament’s precinct as usual on Thursday.

He said this move was taken due to what happened last year when the gates and doors of Parliament were broken.

Opposition parties are seeking an urgent meeting with National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete regarding the deployment of more than 400 soldiers to Parliament, with the Economic Freedom Fighters threatening to approach the courts.

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