For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Number of soldiers at SONA has more than doubled since 2013
Gauteng government suspends Department of Health head
And, Save SA’s 'real SONA', an insult to Zuma says ex-ANC Youth League leader
The number of soldiers deployed at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) had increased two-and-a-half times since 2013, but Parliament’s principals yesterday could not explain why.
“The fact that this year there are 441; Parliament cannot explain the difference from 168 in 2013. Earlier on in our meeting with the chief whips, we undertook to find out why the numbers had increased, because we ourselves cannot explain it,” National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise said.
Parliament has gone from insisting that the 441 soldiers deployed to the SONA would merely play a ceremonial role, to acknowledging that they would help maintain law and order.
The head of the Gauteng Department of Health has been suspended in the wake of recommendations by Health Ombudsman Dr Malegapuru Makgoba following the death of 94 psychiatric patients at nongovernment organisations.
Head of department Dr Barney Selebalo was suspended with immediate effect, while the director for mental health has been served with a notice to suspend her, and has two days to state why she should not be suspended, the provincial government said yesterday.
Current CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr Ernest Kenoshi, has been appointed as acting head of department.
Lobby group Save South Africa convenor Sipho Pityana’s “real State of the Nation Address” on February 8 in Cape Town was an insult to President Jacob Zuma, a former KwaZulu-Natal ANC Youth League leader said yesterday.
Sifiso Sonjica called the move by Save South Africa “desperate”, saying it was “just a reckless and dangerous move that could provoke citizens of this country to defend the sovereignty of the republic”.
Pityana, also chairperson of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution told hundreds of people that Zuma had lost the trust of everyone in South Africa, including his own party. He has delivered similar scathing broadsides from many podiums at a range of occasions in the recent past.
Also making headlines:
Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane rejects EFF accusations of impropriety.
Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has won Somalia's presidential vote
And, Student protests have closed Durban University of Technology and Walter Sisulu University campuses.
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That’s a roundup of news making headlines today