Cape Town – The issue at hand was whether the soldiers will be deployed in the Parliamentary precinct or not.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has denied that the army will be deployed in the Parliamentary precinct to maintain law and order during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.
Mbete said that would not happen, and the army will be outside. “We are not going to see many, hundreds of defence force members milling around Parliament,” said Mbete.
“Where they will be, we don’t know. We are not involved in those issues,” she said.
She told journalists on Wednesday that the 441 South African National Defence Force soldiers will be deployed outside the precinct to help the police.
There has been a huge public outcry on the deployment of the troops during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, but Mbete said this happened every year.
National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise also confirmed that no soldiers will be in Parliament. She said this has been an established practice for the army to be involved during the Sona.
Modise said that they will not interfere with the work of Parliament.