The 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) was postponed on Tuesday, with no new date set for the new opening of parliament.
Postponement of the 2018 State of the Nation Address. pic.twitter.com/BwVgO5Awh3
— Moloto Mothapo (@MolotoMothapo) February 6, 2018
The speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete announced on Tuesday afternoon that the 2018 State of the Nation would be postponed, until further notice. Addressing media outside the parliament buildings in Cape Town, Mbete said that the decision was due to concerns with the recent violent and chaos which had marked the past few SONAs. It was unlikely that this year’s SONA would be uneventful, she said. Mbete said when parliament approached the president to postpone the sitting, it discovered that the president has already written to parliament to ask for the postponement of the ceremony.
Mbete said the postponement decision had taken into account the national budget speech which has been scheduled to take place two weeks after the original scheduled SONA date. The chairperson of the national council of provinces Thandi Modise said the SONA would not be delayed for more than a week.
The leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane said that the official opposition party welcomes the postponement decision.
Maimane said he had written to the speaker asking for SONA to be postponed until the current leadership crisis within the ANC is resolved. He said the DA would also be writing to the speaker about bringing back an impeachment motion which was tabled last year. The party is asking for the election of a new president in parliament once the impeachment process is completed. Maimane said the party also rejects any amnesty agreements or special deals for Jacob Zuma in terms of the charges that are levelled against him.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Julius Malema took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the postponement saying that Jacob Zuma will be resigning anytime from now.
He will resign anytime from now
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) February 6, 2018
The EFF’s Secretary General Godrich Gardee said the postponement is a victory for the country. He also said that there would no SONA until the motion of no-confidence against Zuma is heard.
EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee says the decision to postpone #SONA2018 is a victory for SA. He also warns “there will be no #SONA until a motion of #NoConfidence in President Zuma is held.” (@PaulHermanCPT)
— Team News24 (@TeamNews24) February 6, 2018