Justice Minister Ronald Lamola put the defence of South Africa's constitutional democracy, and equality before the law, front and centre in a State of the Nation Address debate speech that also tackled rumour-mongering and critics.
A freshly vaccinated President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday joined lawmakers from the virtual platform for Day Two of the hybrid debate of his State of the Nation Address (Sona) that saw some parliamentarians in the House, and others online. Matters parliamentary were the presidential reason for leaving Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to deal with the media at the Khayelitsha District Hospital where the two politicians joined healthcare workers getting the Covid-19 vaccine jabs.
Ramaphosa's physical absence in the House, despite him being in Cape Town, was noted. It is traditional for the president to sit in his parliamentary bench throughout the Sona debate, in a practice followed even by occupants of the highest executive office with no discernable affection for the national legislature.
"The House is virtual and the president is in the virtual House, which is indeed Parliament -- in the same way that a virtual parliamentary committee or African Union Summit, for example, is still a committee or a summit," the Presidency responded...