Zuma should look at himself before commenting on Parli - Steenhuisen

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 6, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed concern over President Jacob Zuma warning National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to address the ongoing shenanigans in Parliament, as it has become an embarrassing trend.

Speaking near the end of the Presidency’s budget debate in Parliament on Thursday, which saw eight of the country’s nine opposition parties boycotting the sitting in protest against him, Zuma stated that the sequence of disruptions had become a topic of discussion when he visit neighbouring countries, adding that Mbete “need to do more to bring order”.

“I go around Africa and people ask me very embarrassing questions about this Parliament. Some are complaining that the manner in which we behave, are changing the perception of South Africa. They are now saying you are influencing other people in a wrong way. It would be very important that you seriously bring this House into some order,” he said.

In a statement, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Zuma’s comments were not only insulting, but hypocritical as numerous government officials have been subjected to embarrassment on his behalf.

“President’s Zuma’s remark, however informal, was effectively an Executive attempt to exercise oversight on the legislature, which the Speaker not only capitulated to, but supported,” Steenhuisen said.

“Both are ANC NEC members and have repeatedly allowed the lines between these spheres of government to blur in order to serve a partisan political agenda. If anyone should get their house in order, it should be the President and the corrupt house of cards he has built while in office”.

Wednesday’s first day sitting of the debate descended into complete chaos when members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) objected to Zuma being present inside the Parliamentary chamber, for what was his first time since being found to have violated the Constitution by the Constitutional Court in March.

Parliamentary Protection Services were then called to remove the protesting MP’s from Parliament, who were also slapped with a five-day ban for bringing the House into disrepute.