ANC undermined mediation ahead of Zuma’s speech – EFF

2015-02-11 08:40

Despite attempts by religious leaders to mediate between the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters, the EFF is determined to ask questions during President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address in Parliament tomorrow.

The EFF said it would ask Zuma questions during the speech because it did not believe that he would come to Parliament to be held accountable over money spent at his Nkandla home.

Leader of the Rhema church, Ray McCauley, reportedly chaired the meetings, in which the National Religious Leaders Council sought to prevent the interruption of Zuma by EFF MPs.

“We made it very clear to the religious leaders that the commitment of the EFF MPs to ask questions during the state of the nation address remains intact,” the party said yesterday.

The EFF said it had “reliably learnt” that the religious leaders reached an agreement with the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Zuma on areas that the EFF wanted to be agreed upon prior to the speech.

“The ANC officials later turned [on] the agreement facilitated by the religious leaders, adopting an arrogant attitude which they adopted after the peace accord that was facilitated by Ramaphosa.”

The ANC leaders opted for “a tyranny of the majoritarian approach and arrogance” with religious leaders and undermined all what had been done to bring about common agreements, it said.

“The EFF appreciates the work done by religious leaders, and proclaims for all to know that the genuine discussions and agreements we held with them were undermined by [ANC secretary general] Gwede Mantashe-controlled officials of the ANC.”

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the mediation efforts were received well by all parties in Parliament.

“The religious leaders came to the ANC leadership saying they would mediate between parties because they were not impressed by what was happening in Parliament.

“This was not only about the ANC but all parties in Parliament.”

The EFF threatened to appear nude in the National Assembly if its members were barred from wearing red overalls, gumboots and maids’ uniforms.

This followed efforts by Parliament to toughen regulations on the dress code for MPs.

Yesterday, National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise said she and Mbete would apply parliamentary rules and conventions strictly during Zuma’s address.

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