ANC, DA react to EFF National Assembly outburst
CAPE TOWN – The ANC and DA have reacted strongly to the ruckus caused by EFF members in parliament on Thursday.
The EFF MPs were asked to leave parliament after refusing to stand down from an interrogation of President Jacob Zuma that the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, thought was inappropriate.
The questioning was to do with Zuma paying back money used to upgrade his Nkandla homestead.
EFF members eventually left the house, singing struggle songs as they marched through the Parliamentary precinct.
The ANC said it was “appalled” by the behavior of the EFF MPs.
In a statement, the ANC said, “It is quiet clear that the intentions of EFF (are) not to engage within the framework of promoting public accountability but (they) have an intention of undermining not only the purpose of parliament but to promote anarchy and general disrespect.
“This conduct is consistent with people who are hell-bent on undermining the rights of those who are duly elected members of parliament, representing their constituencies in parliament.”
The statement continued, “The EFF cannot and should not be allowed to take our people for granted.
“This freedom that they are undermining is akin to desecrating the graves of those who fought for them to be members of the same parliament. The ANC will not allow the sacrifice of Mandela, Tambo, Slovo and Chris Hani to be undermined with impunity.”
The ANC warned the EFF not to take it back to the past where it will have no option but to defend “our hard won democracy”.
The DA said what happened in Parliament was a missed opportunity to discuss South Africa’s issues.
DA parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, said, “The question is right, but here’s the fundamental issue here – that we call for an ad hoc committee, the committee is established.
“It is the committee that then must ask the question when exactly is the president going to pay back the money.”
He continued, “So, there are platforms upon which processes must take place. I agree fundamentally with the questions and that the president must give an answer to what it is and the how much and what is the amount itself.
“The president is notorious for not answering questions in the house and therefore it presents a problem, but the facts remain that there is an ad hoc committee set up to deal with this question.”
EFF leader, Julius Malema, said they cannot allow business to carry on as usual when the President refuses to take responsibility.
Malema has accused Zuma of using Parliament to hide his behaviour.
He has vowed to make Zuma answer for the Nkandla spending.