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All systems go for SONA protests

The City of Cape Town says it has granted only one organisation a permit to march and two others the right to picket, ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday.

City spokesperson Priya Reddy says the ‘Zuma Must Fall’ group is allowed to march, while the Seskhona People’s Rights Movement and the Democratic Alliance have been granted permission to picket.

“We have the Zumamustfall movement with 5 000 participants from Green Market Square to the Grand Parade, between 1 and 5 o’clock, Seskhona Peoples Rights Movement have 1 500 participants and will assemble at Kaizergracht at 10 in the morning and disperse by 2:30,” says Reddy.

Spokesperson for the “ZumaMustFall” campaign, Monika Vermeulen says their protest is part of a national campaign to express their concern and unhappiness.

“We feel that the current presidency has failed in its duties to represent best interest of the citizens of South Africa, we are making an appeal to the African National Congress to please provide us with a better suited candidate. We not telling them who to vote for but voicing our unhappiness about the current situation,” says Vermeulen.

President Jacob Zuma is to deliver his SONA this evening in Parliament. This year, security is expected to be very tight in and around the precinct.

Last year, the joint sitting of Parliament was disrupted by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which has vowed to do so again.
Parliament’s presiding officers have made it clear that no disruptions would be allowed. Parliament has passed new rules to deal with the disruptions in the National Assembly.

Political parties say they want President Jacob Zuma to focus on the economy in his speech and the EFF wants him to start his speech with an explanation about recent events in the finance ministry.

Watch video below for political parties’ expectations of the SONA:

Below is the map of the road closures around parliament:

– By SABC

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