8 February 2016

South Africa: Permission Granted for State of the Nation Protests

Thousands of people representing three organisations have been granted permission to protest in the Cape Town CBD on the day President Jacob Zuma presents his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

With the Economic Freedom Fighters demanding answers and the African National Congress Youth League threating a "civil war", all eyes will be on Zuma in Parliament on Thursday.

The president will deliver the Sona on Thursday in a joint sitting of Parliament.

Thus far, three organisations have applied for, and been granted, permission to protest in the CBD on that day.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Priya Reddy said the "Zuma Must Fall" movement had permission for 5 000 participants.

Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement had permission for 1 500 participants, while the DA had permission for 500 protesters.

She said Public Order Policing, National Intelligence, the Presidential Protection Services, the SA Police Services and the City of Cape Town's traffic services and metro police were all consulted on the protests.

Sona is attended by MPs, the Cabinet, the judiciary, business leaders, trade unions and foreign guests.

The EFF wants to know why Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December.

Party leader Julius Malema said last week they would "share" Sona with Zuma in their search for answers.

And while the DA has said that they would not be part of any disruptions, the party has also called for answers on Nene's dismisal.

The ANCYL on Sunday threatened firm action against anyone who disrupted Parliament during Sona.

Leader Collen Maine told a rally in Soshanguve that they would defend the nation and "the revolution" at Sona.

"Those who seek to disrupt the State of the Nation must prepare themselves for a civil war. We wish to inform the Speaker of the Parliament not to organise security on that day. The youth league will physically remove wood workers from Parliament," he said.

Parliament has said it is ready for the big day.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the department of basic education will brief Parliament on the 2015 Matric Results and the schools reopening.

On Wednesday, the higher education and training department will brief MPs on registration and enrolment at universities and TVET Colleges. Higher education funding will also be in the spotlight.

Source: News24

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