PARLIAMENT, February 9 (ANA) – The Economic Freedom Fighters channeled rock band retro at the opening of Parliament in “No Fear” t-shirts, but the truly brave went for lots of cleavage, heels, netting and bold ANC colours.

“It is new. It means bring it on SANDF,” said feisty EFF MP Leigh-Ann Mathys, who wore red Converse sneakers that matched her overalls.

The party promised to disrupt President Jacob Zuma’s speech as it did last year, prompting a member of the state security ministry to quip: “There’s no off-the-record here, they said it on twitter, so we know it will happen”.

Not even the spies immediately knew the identity of the woman who arrived wearing a short green and gold dress with a plunging neckline and a green transparent overlay, 10 inch heels and a black and green hat, which was rouched like a cabbage rose.

She was later revealed to be Dikiledi Mathlangu from the Mpumalanga government.

Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane’s wife, Natalie, wore an off-the-shoulder black dress, designed by Natalia Trisolino, with delicate 1920s beading around the neck and a fishtail hem.

Deborah Dineo Raphuti looked elegant in a fuschia pink shift with a purple and pink shoulder scarf.

“Do you like it?” she asked shyly.

“I designed it myself.”

Dali Tambo’s wife, Rachael, wore a striking dress with a black skirt and leopard print bodice with flared sleeves and told the media she was proud to sport veteran Johannesburg designer Marianne Fassler.

Also among the ANC royalty on the red carpet, Mandla Mandela and his heavily pregnant wife, Rabia, wore matching traditional outfits in discreet black and white.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille looked relaxed in a flowery red kaftan and seemed keen for it all to be over soon.

“After this we will have our city back,” she said, before complaining about the sheer number of police and soldiers deployed to “protect one criminal”.

Among the endless princess-style gowns, Sports Minister Fikile Mbabalula’s wife Nozuko stood out in a simple, sleeveless dress with an ivory bodice and black skirt.

Asked for the name of the designer, she said she sewed it herself.

The minister teamed a grey suit he “already wore to the boxing awards in Durban” with flashy two-tone brogues.

Cabinet colleague Malusi Gigaba added a tie pin and pocket square to his sharp blue suit. His wife, Noma, wore a full-length white lace dress that heavily referenced the underwear-as-outerwear look.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s companion swept up the red carpet in an orange movie star dress with a beaded bodice, tiny fifties belt and train.

A few metres behind, as usually arriving close to the seating call for the event, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille arrived in a midnight blue dress rouched at the knee.

She said she had just grabbed something from her closet to wear and did not get hopes up for the event.

“I would like to, but I’ve been disappointed too often.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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