“ANC has undermined Parliament”- Maimane


Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, has accused the fifth democratically elected Parliament of acting “undemocratically to protect its own interests, and in particular the interests of [President] Jacob Zuma.”

Speaking at the tabling of the party’s 2014 Parliament Assessment Report in Johannesburg on Monday, Maimane stated that the post-election period has been characterised by an ANC showing “blatant disrespect for Parliament” and that the ruling party’s majority in the National Assembly, is nothing more than “a blunt tool use to protect President Zuma and [his] cabinet Ministers from accounting for their actions”.

“This review provides substantial evidence to suggest that Parliament is not operating as an independent arm of the state. It finds that the work of parliament and its quality is determined by the Executive and ANC-majority in Parliament,” said Maimane.

“Of great concern is the continuing and growing lack of accountability of the Executive to Parliament led foremost by President Zuma in his failure to appear for Oral Question sessions despite the Rules of Parliament and the Constitution”.

He also cited the party’s reluctance to manage time, refusal to discuss important topics and dodging questions, mostly relating to the ongoing Nkandla saga, as further reasons for the DA’s declining confidence. Last Monday, the party rated Zuma’s post-election performance as his worst yet on record after giving him 1/10.

Maimane also took a swipe at National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete for using her position to “protect the ANC and President Zuma” as well as the decision to deploy riot police during the second chaotic sitting of the National Assembly on November 13th.

“She is clearly and obviously biased in favour of the ANC and cannot continue on as Speaker given that she is also the national chairperson of the ANC. She has clearly been deployed to Parliament to extend Luthuli House’s influence and the DA will continue all efforts to have her removed as Speaker,” Maimane said, before going on to describing the use of the police as a “disgrace and a clear violation of the Constitution”.