CEREMONY: The 2019 South African State of the Nation Address at Parliament
In the run-up to this year’s State of the Nation Address, emergency services, including fire and rescue services, were pressed into action to combat a number of blazes near the city centre, including at the Holy Cross RC Primary School in Walmer Estate which had to be evacuated.

The SA Air Force band provided this year’s soundtrack, and even had a slot for the late Brenda Fassie’s hit song, Weekend Special.

Before President Cyril Ramaphosa started with his speech, he and Speaker Baleka Mbete stood outside Parliament as the band struck up the national anthem, as fighter jets flew overhead.

Meanwhile, the DA expressed their anger after they were ordered to remove a banner outside one of their offices in the parliamentary precinct which said: “Same State of No Action. Same WhatsApp group.”

“We are angered that we were instructed by the Secretary of Parliament to remove it,” the party said in a statement last night.

“We will seek to determine on what grounds we were instructed to do this. We believe that it is our constitutional right to express our views on the ‘State of No Action’ and this instruction is simply pure censorship.”

Among the early birds to arrive at parly were DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia wearing a silk sash which made a bold statement about the Bosasa tender scandal, which saw the arrest of seven high-profile businessmen.

The legend on the sash read: “Not paid for by Bosasa”.

The EFF, who has threatened to disrupt the SONA unless Ramaphosa comes clean about his ties with Bosasa, entered the national assembly singing, demanding land and jobs.

Absent from Parliament was former president Jacob Zuma.

[email protected]