The stage is set for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, 10 February 2022 and all measures have been put in place to ensure proceedings will run smoothly. The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said it will be on high alert to ensure that President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the SONA without any interruption.
“Security forces have been deployed and are on high alert to ensure that the SONA takes place in a secure environment, with no incidents of crime before, during and post the SONA,” spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said.
“Any action aimed at disrupting the SONA or intentionally contravening the law, will be dealt with accordingly within the ambit of the law.”
SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE FOR SONA
For the first time, the SONA will not be held inside the Parliamentary precinct, due to the recent fire which engulfed the Old Assembly building back in January. Proceedings will now be held at the Cape Town City Hall. There have been security concerns since the fire and other suspected attacks on some of our landmarks, including the Constitutional Court and Waterkloof Air Force Base.
As if that wasn’t enough, it was learnt that Zandile Mafe, the sole suspect in the Parliament fire had reportedly done so to prevent Ramaphosa from delivering the SONA and demand his resignation from office. Briefing media on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says they aren’t expecting any disruptions during the SONA.
“I can confidently say that we are ready to host this auspicious event. President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the NCOP in that City Hall. All protocols related to the National Disaster Management Act will be adhered to. A total of 298 MPs will be seated in the chamber while a limited number of people will be allowed in the gallery,” she said.