While 2016 saw the controversial mobile signal jamming implemented, the 2017 State of the Nation Address has been plagued with suspicions of sound being censored.
An hour into the beginning of #SONA2017, President Jacob Zuma was yet to deliver his speech as members of the DA, EFF and Cope rose on various points of order which became heated with exchanges between Parliament Speaker, Baleka Mbete, and NCOP Chair, Thandise Modise and members of opposition parties.
While Cope’s Willy Madisha rose on a point of order, all sound from the chamber was cut off both on SABC and eNCA, the only channels livebroadcasting the event.
Viewers first thought it was a technical issue from the various channels, but once those watching online and from different channels lamented the same issue, suspicions of censoring arose.
eNCA apologised for the lack of sound on its website, adding that it was beyond their control.
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) February 9, 2017
— Cam (@CamModisane) February 9, 2017
#SONA2017 are they blocking the sound in Parliament?
— Vanessa Hill (@HillVm) February 9, 2017
— KoffiekraalNative♥ (@MinisterGinger) February 9, 2017
— Tiffany Kagure Mugo (@tiffmugo) February 9, 2017
Parliament did not make any mention of the sound issues.