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WATCH: Only one incident, SONA19 a dull affair for those that expected EFF chaos

Feb 8, 2019
WATCH: Only one incident, SONA19 a dull affair for those that expected EFF chaos

For many South Africans, who glued to their televisions hoping for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to see through their threat to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA), Thursday night turned to be a dull affair.

Many even took to social media to express their disappointment that Ramaphosa had managed to douse over the threat of disruptions by immediately charming Julius Malema after taking the podium.

Ramaphosa cleverly had the house and South Africa in stiches after narrating a chance meeting with Malema on Wednesday and how the pair agreed that Ramaphosa would sing the ‘Thuma Mina’ song for Malema if he won the Presidency in the upcoming 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

Even Malema could not resist the charm offensive as he was seen laughing at the joke.

The Economic Freedom Fighters had promised to turn the State of the Nation Address into a question-and-answer session for President Ramaphosa if he does not account for his role in the Bosasa scandal.

The EFF had given Ramaphosa until the end of January to account.

However, ahead of SONA 2019, EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, said his party was still to decide on whether or not to disrupt the state of the nation address over Ramaphosa’s alleged involvement in Bosasa corruption.

Apparently Bosasa had made a R500 000 donation to Ramaphosa’s campaign for the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC).

At a media briefing on Sona held last week, National Assembly speaker, Baleka Mbete, and National Council of Provinces chairperson, Thandi Modise, said no “extraordinary measures” had been put in place as they were not expecting any disruptions.

Julius Malema calls Thabang Makwetla to order at SONA 19

The only incident - that seemingly had Ramaphosa sweating, was when Malema rose up to call  Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla, to order over his “clapping”. Malema promised that Makwetla is going to jail.

After the business of the SONA 19 was done, Malema explained to journlaists why the EFF had not carried out their threat to disrupt SONA.

""Well, the president after the EFF press conference had an interview with eNCA, answered the questions, went to the Public Protector and released the statement he gave to her. This is the president who says to all of us 'I'm available to account' and that's what we're saying. The president must account and if he's not going to account for the Bosasa issues, we're going to ask him here," Malema said.

"But why ask him here if he's already accounted? We've made this point very clear. The man must account and if he doesn't account, we'll ask him in Parliament.

"He accounted on eNCA, he accounted to the Public Protector and if that wasn't enough, he released what he told the Public Protector, that's why the EFF was happy to sit and listen. We may not be happy with the answer but he accounted, unlike the arrogance of the previous regime."

SONA 2019 guests dress for a cause

Meanwhile, the SONA 2019 red carpet was another highlight of the day. 

Dressed to the nines, Members of Parliament and guests have used the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) red carpet to champion various causes.

Thursday evening’s SONA offers the President of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, an opportunity to address the nation on wide-ranging issues, including economic and social matters.

Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana used the opportunity to highlight the topical issue of land.

“I’m dressed by fashion designer BG. The land question is an important thing and green represents the land in our colours of the ANC, and it also brings hope to our people and we are also saying the amendment of the Constitution will also reach out to our black farmers,” said the Deputy Minister.

Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams wore a striking red number for the occassion.

The red carpet saw various guests making their way to the National Assembly for the President’s much-anticipated address to much media fanfare.

With the 2019 SONA being the last of the fifth administration due to the elections later this year, delegates showed up and showed off.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wore a gold and beige dress designed by Mashego Designs.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his wife Natalie Maimane complimented each other well with the leader of the blue party not disappointing and sticking to party colours.

Natalie Maimane looked ravishing in a pearly white jumpsuit with an off the shoulder top.

“I opted for a jumpsuit, so I don’t have to be too awkward in a big dress,” said Maimane, who added that she collaborated with a friend to bring her outfit to life.

Arriving to the carpet, Member of Parliament Phumzile Van Damme said through her outfit she was paying homage to Cape Town designers.

In a sparkling all-gold outfit and adding a pop of colour with red top shoes, Van Damme said she combined three Cape designers; Crystal Birch for her headwrap, Kirsten Goos for her jewellery and KLûK fashion label for her dress. - additional reporting SANews.gov

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