EFF insists on no confidence motion in Zuma before Sona

Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that Sona has been postponed after meeting with political parties in Parliament earlier on Tuesday afternoon.

EFF MPs disrupt President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2017. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - While opposition parties have welcomed the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (Sona), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is insisting that its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma be debated before Sona takes place.

The decision comes on the eve of the African National Congress’s (ANC) national executive committee meeting on Wednesday, where a decision on Zuma’s political future is expected.

Zuma wrote to Parliament’s presiding officers asking for a postponement, saying this was due to “certain developments which make it not conducive to successfully hold the sitting and deliver Sona”.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced the decision soon after meeting with political parties in Parliament earlier on Tuesday afternoon.

Opposition parties have been bombarding Parliament with requests that the event be shelved due to threats of protest and disruption should Zuma deliver the address.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu says the party was not among those asking for a postponement.

“The ANC has had discussions internally and the ANC has given the presiding officers the latitude to look at the political environment – and in consultation with all stakeholders to arrive - at a decision.

“And we are happy that the presiding officers, informed by the prevailing political environment, have arrived at a decision, and we welcome that decision.”

The EFF has also welcomed the move but party Secretary-General Godrich Gardee says they want their motion of no confidence, set down for 22 February, to be debated before Sona takes place.

“We reiterate our call for a motion of no confidence to be convened and debated before any State of the Nation Address in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa because predictably so, as we know, Mr Zuma is not going to resign.”

A new date for Sona may be as early as next week to avoid clashes with the Budget.

EFF: Whichever way - resignation or firing - as long as Zuma doesn't address SA