What are the rules governing SONA?

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says she's more prepared for this year's SONA, and feels more empowered than she was last year.

702 and CapeTalk's Gugulethu Mhlungu spoke to constitutional law expert Prof Pierre de Vos about the rules governing the joint sitting.

Listen to the conversation below:

An amendment was made to the joint rules... If a member of Parliament is going to cause serious disruptions or is going to disobey the rules (and) the orders of the Speaker, then she could request that person to leave the Chamber.

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

If that person does not leave the Chamber, then she can ask the Sergeant at Arms to request/help that person to leave. If that doesn't work, then parliamentary police can come in and remove the individual...

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

The police cannot remove anyone, but the parliamentary protection service - in terms of this new rule that was adopted since the last Parliament, it is allowed for them (at the end of the process) to come in and remove somebody, but that is going only to be legal if it is legitimate for the Speaker to ask that person to leave...

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

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