The State of the Nation Address (Sona) is one of the most anticipated events of the year and not just because of the president’s all-important speech, but the fashionable outfits displayed on the red carpet.
Members of Parliament, high-profile figures and VIP guests descended on Parliament in Cape Town to listen to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech and show off their amazing dress sense.
Among the guests who walked the red carpet were Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who was pretty in pink in a fuschia gown with a V-neckline and textured detail.
“Someone mixed up the invites for Sona and the Oscars, what’s with these outfits?” asked @karlvanheerden1 on Twitter.
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams turned heads in a black peplum gown with embellished flames at the waist. Twitter fashion police, however, criticised her make-up choices for the evening.
“Someone should teach them how to draw eyebrows. You’d think they like clown eyebrows,” said @WordZign.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane kept it simple with a navy fitted suit, white shirt and navy tie and his wife, Natalie, was in a classic black-lace dress.
Maimane added a patriotic surprise with socks in the colours of the South African flag.
New DA MP Nazley Sharif was a showstopper in her Mozambican- inspired mermaid-style dress. The detailed tattoos on Sharif’s back were on full display on the carpet.
People on social media said her outfit was gorgeous, but questioned its appropriateness for the Sona.
“I don’t think that’s appropriate for such a national event,” said @OfentseTheOne.
Socialite Babalwa Mneno, known as “Barbz”, was among the many guests who donned bright yellow on the red carpet, as well as Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana and ANC MP Dikeledi Mahlangu.
Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela and his wife, Rabia, once again did not disappoint with their fashion sense.
Mandela wore a military- style black jacket with light trousers while his wife was elegant in a black, white and grey Xhosa-inspired outfit and matching black doek.
ANC MP Grace Tseke was unforgettable in her head-to-toe traditional Xhosa attire.
“One can never go wrong with Xhosa attire,” said @Thabeele.
The cast members from the drag queen show Gate 69, Luanna Shanfeld, Christopher Dudgeon, Brendan van Rhyn and Rudy Jansen, brought glamour to the parliamentary pre- cinct, sporting beehives and military jackets.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and his wife, Thembeka Ngcobo, looked suave in co-ordinating dark outfits.
Ngcobo, however, eclipsed her husband with her black form-fitting dress and white feather detail.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and his wife, Thembeka Ngcobo,
“Grandpa Bheki Cele and his YOUNG, beautiful wife. Eat your heart out fellows!” said @honesttruth08.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme had a tough week after being the victim of a racist incident at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, but she looked timeless in a red outfit, with accessories.