15 pictures of a SONA unlike any other
By IOL 14m ago
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Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA), marking the opening of Parliament, under very different circumstances yesterday due to Covid-19 safety protocols
Sona took place as the country is currently under level 3 of the risk-adjusted lockdown.
The hybrid event was held virtually for the first time with only 50 members of Parliament in the National Assembly, as part of regulations put in place for social distancing.
The usually bustling parliamentary precinct was mostly empty as most of the traditional pomp and ceremony, including the red carpet fashion walk, was cancelled.
There was a heavy police presence in the streets around Parliament amid rumours of planned protests.
A small group of protesters from the South African Students Congress (Sasco) were pushed back to the Grand Parade.
Before he took to the podium to deliver his address, Ramaphosa took part in a candle-lighting ceremony and a moment of silence to remember the more than 47 000 people in South Africa who have lost their battle with Covid-19.
The traditional praise singer was also replaced by spoken word performer Siphokazi Jonas, who delivered a verse written for the occasion.