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Hundreds of troops deployed in South Africa ahead of Zuma speech

Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 01:02

Hundreds of security personnel are deployed in Cape Town ahead of South African President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation speech in Parliament. Opposition parties have criticised the unusual move. Saskia O'Donoghue reports.

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Hundreds of extra security personnel were deployed in Cape Town Thursday ahead of President Jacob Zuma's annual state of the nation speech to Parliament. Zuma's move to authorise more than 400 soldiers to join the security team drawing outrage from his political opponents. They've called it "militarisation". Zuma's yearly speech to open parliament has been a chaotic affair since 2014, when the radical left wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) won seats in parliament. Since then, EFF lawmakers have heckled the president - chanting and jeering over corruption scandals. The situation got so bad in 2015 that parliamentary security guards disguised as waiters physically removed EFF members from the chamber. However, this will mark the first year that soldiers will be deployed as security rather than in a ceremonial role. The EFF group say they are planning to disrupt the speech - and that no amount of security or intimidation will deter their protests.

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Hundreds of troops deployed in South Africa ahead of Zuma speech

Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 01:02