Lekota's 'faction' comment heats up SONA debate

2016-02-17 17:48
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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WATCH: DA stand, shout and chant in SONA debate

2016-02-17 16:52

Members of the DA's caucus stood and shouted in the National Assembly during the second day of debate on SONA 2016. An outraged Mmusi Maimane repeatedly asked Raseriti Johannes Tau to explain why he asked the DA to leave. Maimane then asked Tau to recuse himself as chair. "Go, go, go!" the DA chanted.WATCH

Cape Town – The legislature is divided by "factions" - those who try hold the executive accountable and those who protect it - Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said on Wednesday.

"One faction is made up of two or three parties with the presiding officers and a smaller faction is trying to keep the executive accountable," Lekota said during the second day of the State of the Nation address (SONA) debate.

He said those protecting the executive had "voted to support the individual in the office of the president".

"We, the legislature, are now held to ransom by the presiding officers who believe their function is to shield the executive," he said.

Lekota said the original power of the legislature was holding the executive accountable.

The Cope leader was left disappointed when he was told that his time was up.

Lekota's use of the word "factions" earlier caused a ruckus in the House.

This led to a heated exchange between the presiding officer, Raseriti Tau, and the DA.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen told Tau he was "talking rubbish" when he tried to stop Lekota from using the word "faction".

Tau took serious exception to this, and in the tussle that ensued, Steenhuisen walked out of the chamber after being asked to leave, shouting that he would now be spared having to listen to more "rubbish".

Read more on:    cope  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  cape town  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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