Zuma Q&A: Malema moves on from Nkandla

2015-03-09 16:07

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President Jacob Zuma will return to the National Assembly to face questions about the instability in the criminal justice institutions and on the electricity crisis on Wednesday in his first question and answer session in over six months.

The last time Zuma appeared in the National Assembly to answer oral question was on August 21 last year, when he was shouted down by Economic Freedom Fighters MPs, who chanted “pay back the money” when he failed to answer Julius Malema’s question about the payment of the money which was spent on nonsecurity measures at his private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

That session was aborted, with Zuma having answered only three of the six questions posed to him.

The EFF had previously vowed that they would continue asking the Nkandla question until Zuma answered it to their satisfaction, or paid back the money as recommended by the Public Protector.

But if the questions that were published by Parliament this morning are anything to go on it would seem the fledgling party has moved on from the Nkandla question.

Malema will ask Zuma if he is doing anything to ensure the stability in criminal justice institutions where there is “the uncertainty surrounding the future of the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the fact that the Special Investigating Unit was without a head and the future of the Hawks’ leader, which was now under threat”.

Malema will also ask Zuma for his view regarding a perception that at the centre of all the problems experienced by the criminal justice institutions was the desire to protect him [Zuma] from accounting for the charges that were controversially dropped by the NPA in April 2009.

Last month, the presidency published the terms of reference for an inquiry into the fitness of Mxolisi Nxasana to hold office as National Director of Public Prosecutions, while Zuma appointed an acting head of the Special Investigating Unit last week in Gerhard Visagie after Advocate Vas Soni announced his resignation last month and Hawks boss Anwa Dramat remains suspended.

The National Freedom Party’s Maliyakhe Shelembe will ask Zuma whether there has been any progress regarding the Independent System Market Operator Bill, which Zuma in his state of the nation address in June 2014 promised would be finalised to address the challenges around the electricity demands.

The bill would make a provision for the establishment of an Independent System and Market Operator as a state-owned entity that would provide an independent system operation to ensure safe, secure and efficient operation of the integrated power system, trading of electricity at wholesale level and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa wants to know whether Zuma intends to implement a November 30 2000 Cabinet Committee Resolution that chapters 7 and 12 of the Constitution be amended “to prevent the obliteration of the powers and functions of traditional leaders and traditional institutions of governance”.

The DA’s parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane’s question is a bit outdated. He wanted to ask Zuma to state the dates on which he would appear before the National Assembly to answer oral questions in this year.

The presidency announced these dates in a press statement last week, but City Press understands that MPs submit their questions to the president at least two weeks before the president answers them in Parliament.

Maimane is expected to ask more probing questions about accountability to Parliament in a follow-up question. MPs can ask up to four follow-up questions.

ANC MPs EM Mthethwa and Fish Mahlalela asked questions based on Zuma’s state of the nation address in June last year and its debate.

Mthethwa wants to know whether there has been any progress in the implementation of the back-to-basics approach to local government since Zuma announced it in June 2014; while Mahlalela wanted to know about the progress with the implementation of Operation Phakisa and how it benefits the people of South Africa.

Operation Phakisa was launched in October 2014.

Meanwhile, Zuma will attend a sitting of the National House of Traditional Leaders tomorrow where amakhosi will debate the speech he delivered on Thursday.

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