Ex-president Jacob Zuma has opted out of this year's state of the nation address. The event marks the opening of Parliament and, with the elections this year, the closing of the fifth Parliament.
It appears that ex-president Jacob Zuma has chosen not to attend the state of the nation address this year - the second time since his resignation as South Africa's leader.
This year the event will not only mark the opening of Parliament, but the closing of the fifth Parliament, with the elections taking place in May.
Baleka Mbete, National Assembly speaker, made the revelation during a state of readiness address today.
Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe are expected to be in attendance on the day.
According to City Press, Thandi Modise commented on the unconfirmed attendance of Zuma, saying:
We automatically invite all former heads of state and former presiding officers. If we indicate that he is not coming, it might be because he has not accepted our invitation. But we do not think there is anything untoward about that.
Briefly.co.za reported last week that a comment made by Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, suggested that the party may attempt to disrupt the address.
When questioned on any special security measures, Modise responded that no one had made any requests:
Members, politicians can make speeches ,but we will apply the rules as we have. So we are not going to put any extraordinary things and yes, I accept that since 2014 we have had a few surprises, but we will make do with whatever we have and we will rule using the rules known by all MPs and all South Africans.
Special guests who have accepted Parliament's invitation include Frene Ginwala and Max Sisulu.
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