/ 8 February 2018

ANC Parliamentary caucus meets to address postponement of SONA

The ANC says the National Assembly's failure to pass legislation as a result of awol MPs is 'embarrassing'.
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The ANC’s Parliamentary caucus will meet on Thursday for a special caucus meeting.

The caucus was called for 10:00 following recent events in Parliament, including the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (SONA), African National Congress spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said.

The contents of caucus meetings however, will not be disclosed as they are closed meetings for members, Mhlauli added.

It is not usual for caucuses to sit before the SONA, usually considered the “opening of Parliament”.

There are reports that ANC MPs will discuss its options ahead of an anticipated announcement from ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on the future of President Jacob Zuma.

The announcement will have implications for the caucus if Zuma either resigns, or a recall is ordered. Parliament will have to convene a special sitting to remove Zuma if he does not resign. A new president will need to be elected in either scenario within 30 days.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu could not be reached for further comment.

Ramaphosa on Wednesday had said talks with Zuma about the “transition” are ongoing, and an announcement will only be ready in the coming days.

This is after the ANC announced its special NEC meeting planned for Wednesday had been postponed to February 17 amid reports of an agreement between the State and party presidents.

Parliament on Wednesday said there was still no proposed date for a SONA, as the issue is now being handled by the ANC leaders.

The budget speech, however, will go ahead on February 21 and – while not ideal – does not legally need to wait for SONA. — News24