A light drizzle had photographers seek shelter to secure the safety of their cameras shortly before the arrival of guests for the opening of the
VIPs had to be welcomed with umbrellas as they got out of their cars to walk down the red carpet to where the guard of honour was waiting in Church Street for the inspection Premier, Stan Mathabatha and Nneke Ledwaba, Provincial Commissioner of Police.
A group of cultural dancers from Sekhukhune and learners from Sekgosese Secondary and Hans Merensky High Schools as well as the civil guard, formed a guard of honour for the VIPs walking up to the Jack Botes Hall on the red carpet.
After declaring the Jack Botes Hall a precinct of the Legislature and the acknowledgement of guests, Speaker Polly Boshielo requested the Premier to deliver the State-of-the-Province address (Sopa). Lerato Maroga sang Mathabatha’s praises as he approached the podium.
As Mathabatha was about to start his delivery of the Sopa a group of placard-carrying Democratic Alliance (DA) representatives stood up for a silent protest.
The Speaker, having requested them several times to sit down, asked the Sergeant-at-Arms to accompany them from the hall.
Members of the Legislature (MPL) Jossey Buthane of the Economic Freedom Fighters and DA Langa Bodlani demanded to know on a point of order on which grounds the guests were asked to leave, as they were not disturbing anybody or causing a ruckus.
Bodlani, after several more disturbances on a point of order was asked to vacate the hall. He was followed by DA Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle, and DA MPL Susan Phala.
Mathabatha then delivered his address.
The debating of the Sopa took place on Tuesday at the Provincial Legislature in Lebowakgomo.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Photos: Yolande Nel & Nelie Erasmus