The SONA drinking game (unofficial)


When it comes to South Africa’s annual State Of The Nation Address (SONA), we at htxt have never claimed to be ardent political analysts.

We, like most of our readers do a lot of analysis from the armchair in front of the TV, and most of that takes the form of yelling at the screen and tweeting jokes and frustrations to followers.

Sure, we’re always keen to hear any news or announcements concerning tech – such as the continued commitment to rolling out broadband connectivity, tech innovation in education and renewable energy – but in recent years, we’ve started looking at SONA as more of a bunfight than a series of important announcements.

Over the last few years we’ve seen jammers deployed in an attempt to block media coverage of the event, the EFF scuffle with security guards in white shirts and the DA rail against Zuma with all the effectiveness of a goldfish trying to ram an oil tanker off-course.

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So this year, we thought we’d have a bit of fun, and by fun, we mean have a few drinks. Break out some shots, fire up Twitter and settle in with the questions we’ve listed below. If you got any of them right, you don’t have to do a shot. If you didn’t, you drink!

Oh, and if drinking isn’t your thing you can always print these questions on a bingo card and play that way instead. Here we go (now listen properly…)

Jammers will be used in parliament 

Ever since they were first deployed during the 2015 SONA, there is the grim possibility that jammers will once again be used to cause a media blackout as the address takes place. True, the last two SONAs were jammer-free, but this year we’d say all bets are off.

Not only have the rumblings between the ANC and President Jacob Zuma caused SONA to be delayed (it was meant to be today), but at the time of writing, we don’t even know who will be giving the address. Which brings us neatly to…

Zuma will deliver SONA

This is a tough one because right now Zuma’s fate really is hanging in the balance. According to reports on EWN, the president met with the NEC at the weekend and was asked to resign.

He refused, and this means that unless he changes his mind before SONA is rescheduled, or the NEC decide to recall him, he may deliver the address. Not only is that likely to cause ructions in parliament if it happens, it would be a real poke in the eye to the ruling party.

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Someone else will deliver SONA

So let’s say the president resigns or is recalled. Who then will give the address? There’s some speculation that even if Jacob Zuma decides to shuffle off, that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa may not want to step into the presidency, because doing so could affect his ability to serve two terms.

Will it be Ramaphosa at the podium for this year’s SONA? And if not him, who? We know that asking these questions are peripheral to this drinking game but it’s fun to speculate.

The EFF will be forcibly removed from parliament

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Every year since their formation as a party, the EFF have kicked off at SONA calling Zuma everything under the sun from a crook to a liar to (last year) “an incorrigible man who is rotten to the core.” Usually around the time the EFF has interrupted the president for the umpteenth time, they’re asked to leave parliament, and they refuse. Then things can get nasty.

Will this happen again this year?

The EFF will willingly leave parliament. 

It’s not like they haven’t done this before – hell, they danced their way out once.

The EFF will remain silent throughout SONA

Just kidding – this won’t happen. (Although if it does, you may need a drink to realign your sense of reality).

The DA will walk out

While not as combative as the EFF, the DA members have also staged their fair share of walk-outs. They’re not as theatrical when they do it, but they’ve stalked off on several occasions – usually over what they perceive as an abuse by authorities or violations of the constitution.

Last year’s walk-out was pretty visceral; the DA left as MPs from the ANC yelled ‘racist’ and ‘sell-out’ at their retreating backs.

Whoever delivers SONA mentions “fake news”

Yes we know that fake news is a problem but over the last year fake news has come to be President Donald Trump’s default response for almost any accusation flung his way whether its truthful or not.

Will 2018 be the year that South African politicians start labeling accusations as fake news?

Bonus round – for the strictly hardcore

Do a shot every time:

  • Someone repeats the phrase ‘madam speaker’ more than four times and doesn’t get any joy
  • Someone interrupts the president (or whomever is giving SONA)
  • Someone swears (yes, it’s happened before)
  • Someone has a fight
  • Someone has their microphone cut off
  • Someone who has had their microphone cut off uses somebody else’s microphone
  • SONA is delayed for an hour (take one additional shot for every hour after the first)
  • Someone mentions the words ‘Guptas’, ‘Zuptas’, ‘State Capture’, ‘Day Zero’, ‘Nkandla’ or ‘Corruption’
  • The speaker refuses to recognise an MP on a point of order
  • The president laughs
  • Someone on Twitter bemoans the price of avocados as a sign we’re all going to hell in a handcart

Join the conversation

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