Zuma : Why should I worry about the EFF

By Drum Digital
08 February 2015

President Jacob Zuma says he is not worried about Julius Malema’s threat to disrupt his state of the nation address.

President Jacob Zuma says he is not worried about Julius Malema’s threat to disrupt his state of the nation address (Sona) by asking questions about the president’s plan to pay back the Nkandla money.

Asked by a journalist whether he was nervous about the EFF’S threat during his working lunch with journalists at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, Zuma replied: “I’ve never been nervous in my life”.

He said that it would be up to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to rule on the matter should the EFF attempt to ask questions on Thursday night. The traditional annual address to the nation by the president outlines the government’s priorities for the year ahead.

“It all depends on the rules of Parliament. I’ll listen to…what the Speaker (Baleka Mbete) would say. Anybody who rises on a point of order, the Speaker determines in terms of the rules if there’s anything extra-ordinary.

“I think what is important is that all members of Parliament should act honorably by being ready to be directed by the Speaker. Parliament operates on the rules so you can’t say if a particular person says something, I’ll do this. The Speaker will decide,” Zuma said.

The EFF had been voted on the basis that it was going to Parliament to misbehave, he said.

“What we are going to do is that we are going to use the rule of Parliament make them behave. That’s what the country should be saying.

“They’ll come right. They can’t continue this way. It’s just not on. That kind of behavior is not right. If I was a voter I’d saying today, ’Sorry I voted. I didn’t know’. And I’d be taking a serious decision never to vote that party again in my life,” Zuma said.

He also criticized the EFF’s choice of uniforms saying they were ”degrading” to mine workers and domestic workers, saying workers often took away their uniforms  on weekends to look their best.

He sounded hurt when asked a question about the EFF’s campaign to force him to pay back a portion of the R246 million the state spent on his KwaDakwadunuse residence in Nkandla.

Zuma said Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s finding that he unduly benefitted in the Nkandla upgrades did not mean that he embezzled any public funds to spruce up his private residence.

He said Parliament had also looked at the reports of the three probes into Nkandla.

“Why should I worry about the EFF diverting from the conclusion of the very Parliament they participate (in)….I  never understood the logic of the manner in which it (the demand for repayments) was raised.

“It’s not a small matter that my name was thrown up  that I squandered R250 million rands….I just feel you are in a country that doesn’t look at things fairly. Let alone that I’m still paying a bond on my house…,” he said.

He said his detractors were using Nkandla for political games.

Pic: Elmond Giyane

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