Mbete determined to prevent SONA interruption

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 5, 2016

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has reportedly indicated she would use every suitable measurement at her disposal to prevent President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) becoming a repeat of last’s year chaos.

Her comments come after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, on Thursday warned that Zuma would be “sharing his SONA with the EFF”.

“Hopefully there won’t be any need to even worry about having to be tough, but the point is, should the need arise, we will not hesitate to utilise it at the right moment,” Mbete told Eyewitness News.

Proceedings to Zuma’s SONA last year came to an abrupt halt after EFF Secretary-General, Godrich Gardee, had enquired when he is going to pay back a portion of the R246-million spent on security upgrades at his Nkandla home, as per Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report.

The matter quickly escalated with Mbete eventually calling on riot police and parliament security to remove the protesting EFF MP’s from the chamber. Not long after, Democratic Alliance MP’s also left after being dissatisfied with Mbete’s explanation as to whether members of the police had been involved with the removal.

Zuma is expected to deliver his SONA next week Thursday with the country’s faltering economy set to be the key focus point.