Tempers flare during debate

2016-03-16 06:00

RACISM and the drought crisis in the province were some of the key issues addressed by members of the Free State Legislature on Friday (11/03) during their general debate on the 2016 budget vote.

Insults were even hurled as tempers flared on issues affecting the country and the province.

A large number of the members of the legislature agreed that the budget speech tabled by the provincial MEC for Finance, Elzabe Rockman, was reasonable despite hard economic times.

Tempers flared when the EFF’s provincial chairperson, Khotso Morapela, brought up ANC member Thabo Meeko’s alleged “drinking escapades” and said President Jacob Zuma is an uneducated man failing to liberate citizens from poverty.

Deputy speaker, Sizwe Mbalo, requested that Morapela withdraw his statements.

Wouter Wessels of the FF+ said the declining economy would create more informal settlements and an increase in social grants dependency.

Wessels criticised the treasury for failing to allocate funds for drought relief and highlighted challenges faced by both commercial and emerging farmers.

DA Chief Whip David van Vuuren said it is unfortunate that Rockman failed to make a financial commitment towards drought relief efforts.

Van Vuuren further said the total budget of just under R31 billion should be carefully planned and its application maximised to prevent the further deterioration of service delivery across all key sectors.

ANC member Mojalefa Buti addressed the recent protests at the University of the Free State and the upcoming release of Chris Hani’s killer, Janusz Walus.

The Pretoria High Court ruled on Thursday (10/03) that Walus is to be freed on parole.

Walus will be released within the next two weeks after spending 23 years in jail.

Buti accused white students at the UFS of failing to understand the plight of black students by choosing a game of rugby over challenges faced by black students.

Buti said white students thought transformation was the battle of black students alone.

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