EFF wanted to disrupt - Zuma

2015-02-14 21:42
Security guards entered Parliament to remove opposition lawmakers who disrupted the address by President Jacob Zuma. (Rodger Bosch, AP, Pool)

Security guards entered Parliament to remove opposition lawmakers who disrupted the address by President Jacob Zuma. (Rodger Bosch, AP, Pool)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma believes that the EFF deliberately disrupted the State of the Nation address to make a political statement, the presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

"It is the view of the President that the intention of the political party that asked questions on the 12th was to deliberately disrupt proceedings for political reasons, as all parties will have an opportunity to raise issues during the debate and to ask questions on the 11th of March," spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

Three Economic Freedom Fighters MPs, including party leader Julius Malema, were told to leave the House after they persisted in trying to question Zuma about misspending on his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, after he started delivering his State of the Nation address on Thursday.

Security officers were called in to escort the MPs out of the National Assembly.

The Democratic Alliance walked out shortly afterwards in protest against the security officers' presence in the National Assembly Chamber.

Maharaj said Zuma respected MPs' right to ask questions and hold the Executive to account, but this should be done according to Parliament's rules of engagement.

"President Zuma convened a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly, and the National Council of Provinces, on 12 February 2015, in order to deliver his State of the Nation address to Parliament."

A joint sitting is chaired by the presiding officers of both the National Assembly and the NCOP, and the purpose of the event was the delivery of the State of the Nation address.

"Members of Parliament debate the speech afterwards, in this case on 17-18 February 2015, after which the President responds.

"Time is allocated for this purpose to enable the Executive to account."

Unaware of jamming

This included quarterly oral questions to the president in the National Assembly, annual oral questions to the president in the NCOP and written questions to the president on a regular basis.

The annual address of the president to the NCOP in November was also followed by a debate.

"The Executive also accounts during special debates called to discuss certain matters of a national importance," Maharaj said.

"The Presidency has given the National Assembly the date of the 11th of March for the President to answer oral questions. The NCOP date will also be confirmed soon after discussions."

Maharaj denied rumours that Zuma knew about signal jamming ahead of his State of the Nation address.

On Thursday night, around 25 journalists launched a protest in the press gallery of the National Assembly because they did not have cellphone reception to file their stories.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen - supported by the EFF and Freedom Front Plus - rose on a "rule of order" to submit that the jamming was "in direct violation of the... Constitution". The signal was then restored.

"President Zuma also condemns the jamming of cellular phones in the National Assembly. Rumours that the President was informed of this act are incorrect and baseless," Maharaj said.

Zuma urged everyone in South Africa to abide by Clause 16 of the Constitution, which relates to freedom of expression.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  state of the nation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.