I have not refused to go to Parliament - President Zuma

By Drum Digital
20 January 2015

President Jacob Zuma on Monday said he has never refused to answer questions in Parliament.

President Jacob Zuma on Monday said he has never refused to answer questions in Parliament, SABC news reported on Monday.

"The president has never refused to come to answer questions," he told the public broadcaster.

"I have been hearing those kinds of sloganeering out there. Nobody has said I must come to Parliament [and] I refused."

On August 21, Economic Freedom Fighters MPs interrupted Zuma's replies to questions by banging on their desks and chanting "pay back the money". This was in reference to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendation that Zuma repay that part of the R246 million spent on upgrades to his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, home not related to security.

Since then he has not returned to answer questions.

"I went to Parliament. Members in Parliament stopped me from answering questions. I'm waiting... .I've always gone to Parliament.

"Parliaments are very respected institutions and I think as political parties we should take that into account. It is not a place to play around, it is not a place to shout slogans," he said.

"I have always gone to Parliament, it's just a matter that is ballooned out of process, misleading the country," he said.

Zuma was expected back in Parliament on February 12, to deliver the State of the Nation Address.

Last week National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete urged EFF leader Julius Malema not to use Zuma's address to demand that he answer questions on the Nkandla controversy.

EFF members have vowed to disrupt his speech unless a special sitting of the National Assembly is scheduled for Zuma to answer questions.

Mbete said Zuma would have an opportunity to respond to issues raised by MPs during the parliamentary debate on his address after February 12.

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