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Still no clarity on when State of the Nation Address will take place

It is now one week since the unprecedented postponement of the State of the Nation Address.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete outside Parliament ahead of State of the Nation Address. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - With the country still officially in the dark about the outcome of the African National Congress’ (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) meeting, there is still no clarity about when or whether the State of the Nation Address (Sona) will still go ahead.

Eyewitness News has established that South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members, who would have formed part of the ceremonial guard, are under orders to head for Kimberley where Armed Forces Day is to be celebrated next Wednesday.

That’s also when the 2018 Budget is due to be delivered in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly's programme for Wednesday has been re-jigged to accommodate a special meeting of the ANC's parliamentary caucus.

EWN understands that Wednesday’s special meeting of the ANC caucus will be attended by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte.

It’s been called by ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu in the wake of Monday’s marathon session of the party’s national executive committee.

Mthembu’s spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli confirmed the caucus meeting had been called but told EWN the agenda was confidential.

EWN understands that ANC MPs will be briefed on the NEC meeting and its outcomes.

It is now one week since the unprecedented postponement of the State of the Nation Address.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says that it will be difficult to schedule the address next week.

“It will be difficult to manage two big days in one week. You don’t want the Sona overshadowing the Budget and vice versa.”

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is expected to respond to a fresh deadline from the EFF on its demand that its motion of no confidence be debated this week instead of next Thursday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)