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Premier Stan Mathabatha on the verge of entering the chamber at Jack Botes hall accompanied by Provincial Legislature Speaker Polly Boshielo and Limpopo Legislature Sergeant-at-Arms Hassan Ngobeni.

Drama characterises Sopa 2017

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This morning’s (Friday) State of the Province address (Sopa) didn’t commence without a dose of drama when Democratic Alliance (DA) representatives and activists left the legislative chamber at Jack Botes hall in Polokwane.
According to DA Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle he left the chamber with fellow-Legislature Member Suzan Phala after the DA’s Bodlani Langa was instructed by Limpopo Legislature Speaker Polly Boshielo to leave the precinct upon his raising a point of order. Already upon arrival DA representatives indicated they would stage a silent protest during the proceedings, while Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Legislature Members informed Polokwane Observer beforehand that they didn’t plan any disruption. By then close to 30 of their members in the public gallery had been forced out of the chamber, he said. Smalle stressed that they were already in consultation with their legal representatives to challenge a process that was unconstitutional in their view.
Earlier on umbrellas came out as the downpour ­– true to African proverb – blessed the Sopa, which is still being delivered by Premier Stan Mathabatha in Polokwane at present.
Drum beats and traditional dancing welcomed guests to the occasion at Jack Bores hall where the earlier downpour subsided to make way for ceremony and pomp.
With proceedings starting around an hour late, all eyes are on Mathabatha as he brings his people up to speed with matters of the provincial government.

Story & photos: YOLANDE NEL
>>observer.yolande@gmail.com

DA Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle joins a silent protest by party representatives. With him is African National Congress Legislature Member Dan Sebabi.

Megan Henning of Vida Dance Studio in Polokwane in Tsonga attire performs a traditional dance outside Jack Botes hall prior to the start of proceedings this morning.