ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has expressed dissatisfaction with the increase in military personnel at parliament.
According to The Sowetan, Mthembu said he had not heard anything that suggested military force would be sent to parliament, but he admitted he would be opposed to its deployment.
“Obviously, we will be opposed to any military being sent to parliament. The role of the military in parliament is of a ceremonial nature, as all of us know,” said Mthembu.
Speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete assured opposition parties soldiers would not be present inside parliament.
Meanwhile, analysts have branded President Jacob Zuma’s decision to deploy 441 soldiers as ‘paranoid’.
“A government that’s struggling to alleviate the plight of its people is using these tactics.
“It’s indicative of a weak state, and it’s ironic that whatever the contents of his speech, it will be characterised by a militarised event outside,” he added.
“It would seem to be paranoia and politically motivated for the justification of the protection of the president. It’s politically motivated paranoia. It shows the ANC has largely lost the capacity to engage with the people of South Africa,” said political analyst Daniel Silke.