Zuma: My laughing does not hurt, it is healthy - As it happened

2015-11-19 14:05

President Jacob Zuma has told the National Assembly that his habit of laughing after each questions has been asked does not hurt anyone, and joked that it is healthy.


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Last Updated at 19:09
19 Nov 16:10

Proceedings have concluded.

Read on for how they unfolded in Parliament.

19 Nov 15:59
"The bank is there for one purpose only, to assist those [countries] that are in need."

19 Nov 15:59

"The BRICS developmental bank was established to see the need of focusing on development, particularly the third world," Zuma answered.

"Countries that have been disadvantaged for years are happy. Leaders of the AU and other countries were invited to exchange views with BRICS leaders, and this issue was discussed.

"The bank is going to be utilized to help quicken the pace of development in developing countries in particular.

"The regional bank that will be located in South Africa will, in the main, look to addressing problems on the continent of Africa."

19 Nov 15:56

An MP gets up and asks:

"There are many countries with emerging economies, who seek clarity on how this new developmental bank of BRICS will conduct its business.

"How will bank address poor countries?"

19 Nov 15:52

"We reaffirm the importance of BRICS in the global arena.

"BRICS represents the aggregate GDP exceeding $32 trillion. A 60% growth. BRICS counts almost 30% of the world's GDP, and produces a third of the world's manufactured goods, and produces half of the world's agricultural goods."

19 Nov 15:49
The House quietens down and President Zuma starts speaking again.

19 Nov 15:45

Ndlozi interrupts again.

Julius Malema gets up for the first time today, and steps up to the mic.

"This mic is off," EFF party leader Julius Malema says.

19 Nov 15:45

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen accuses the EFF of continuing to disrupt proceedings.

"Whether we sit here until 10 o'clock tonight, all six questions will be answered, so why does the EFF continue to insist on interrupting proceedings?"

19 Nov 15:42
"You have put it there because you know we will run out of time before that question gets answered."

19 Nov 15:41
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi asks Mbete why the EFF's question "When is President Jacob Zuma going to pay back the money?", was put at number 6 on the question list.

19 Nov 15:40

Speaker Baleka Mbete is now addressing the issue of the order of questions on the day.

MPs have taken issue with the jumbled order.

19 Nov 15:30

MPs continue to press Zuma on the issue of support in the Middle East.

“We have a very clear policy that we are not picking sides. We have met with Israel many times,” Zuma says.

“Israel even agreed that meeting with Palestinians is important.

“I hope that is the impression, we deal with both. And both sides accept that South Africa has a role to play in helping them come to a conclusion.”

19 Nov 15:26
"My laughing's not hurtful, it's healthy," President Zuma adds.

19 Nov 15:23

"We have influenced many people in the world, including the Apartheid government, when they were not ready, to negotiate.

"That's the ANC power."

19 Nov 15:21

Rev K R J Meshoe of the ACDP asks: Has, with reference to Israel’s reaction that the hosting of Hamas by the ANC and the signing of an agreement between the leadership of Hamas and the ANC constitutes an unfriendly act by South Africa, the effectiveness of the Government’s foreign policy which promotes a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine been undermined?

"South Africa engages with all the role players, to seek the freedom of the region," Zuma answers.

"We are viewed by both sides as ideally placed to assist in the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

"South Africa desires an established Palestine state living side by side with Israel.

"This Sunday, I will attend a conference with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, to discuss these matters. We hope to continue to play a peaceful role in this process."

19 Nov 15:16
President Zuma answers very curtly: "Yes, there is political will, and no, government won't fail to act. Thank you, Madam Speaker," he concludes.

19 Nov 15:14

Questions now turn to the drought and water shortage in the country:

"Is there political will to challenge the current water crisis, and will there be political accountability for those who fail to act?" one MP asks.

19 Nov 15:06

A few MPs take issue with the president's seemingly habitual laugh after each question.

"I will always laugh," he says after the complaint."I don't know how to stop my laugh. Is it hurting?"

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says Parliament is not the Trevor Noah show.

19 Nov 15:02
"If a company is operating in South Africa, we should find a system where a country pays tax where they are operating," Zuma answers.

19 Nov 15:00

"It's common knowledge that one of the biggest role players in the ICT sector is MTN," says Floyd Shivambu.

"MTN has been fined by the Nigerian government.

"Again we ask, what can we do with a company that is avoiding taxes? What do we do about a company that is, in a sense, owned by pensioners?"

19 Nov 14:57

"More wifi hotspots will be rolled out across the country.

"By 2020 all schools, hospitals and clinics will have broadband internet connectivity," Zuma says in response to a question about Information and Communication Technology (ICTs).

19 Nov 14:44

"The appointment of Satu members to the IEC is concerning. Does it not worry you that our democracy and the integrity of the IEC is being eroded, to the extent that many political parties will not trust the outcomes of elections?" asks another MP.

"No," Jacob Zuma responds.

"There is no erosion. In fact, our democracy is maturing."

EFF MPs can be heard mumbling that "He is your friend."

19 Nov 14:38

One MP interjects and claims it is naive to think members of SATU won't be biased.

"To make people have the right to play a certain part , if they're appointed to do so, it's not naive," Zuma answers.

"You can't discriminate, or generalise. If you have a specific case against an individual, deal with that case. You can't make a general rule."

19 Nov 14:35

"Political affiliations does not mean a party member is biased," Zuma continues.

"That's why members of different political affiliations can work together in organs of government."

19 Nov 14:32

"The IEC has responsibilities," says President Jacob Zuma.

"It is clear that our country's electoral system has checks and balances that creates the necessary conditions for impartiality, as well as free and fair elections."

Zuma quotes examples where IEC members were removed based on perceived conflicts of interest.

19 Nov 14:30

Next question:

Whether, in light of his statement on 10 May 2014, that the Electoral Commission successfully maintained its track record of running successful free and fair elections, he has found that free and fair local government elections in 2016, including the independence of the Electoral Commission, will be compromised if the Commission appoints election officers from organisations such as the SA Democratic Teachers Union who stated in their Provincial Executive Committee statement of 14 September 2015 their interest to ensure that a certain political organisation wins back all the wards; if not, what is the basis of his finding; if so, what is his position in this regard?

- M A Mncwango of the IFP

19 Nov 14:27

An EFF MP has interrupted, telling the speaker she is not following the list in terms of questions.

Mbete tells him to sit down. MP says he wants clarity.

"Please take your seat," she says a number of times.

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu interjects.

She tells him to take his seat as well.

"You are skipping us and choosing your aligned NFP," Shivambu says.

They eventually relent.

19 Nov 14:21

"The matter of free education is the policy of the ruling party," says Zuma.

"We have tried to implement it at the lower levels, at schools that are free from fees.

"We have started the implementation for poor students."

19 Nov 14:19

Zuma answers:

We say there must be autonomy for universities. Autonomy will be looked at the by [the new] commission.

If you asked me politically in my own view, there is no autonomy that can be absolute.

You can't have an autonomy that is absolute, it must be balanced. How do you balance these two [free university versus autonomy of institutions].

19 Nov 14:18

The first question comes from FF MP Muyiseni Ndlozi:

1) Can you address the issue of university autonomy?

2) Are you going to give students free university or not?

19 Nov 14:10

Speaker Baleka Mbete has introduced President Jacob Zuma.

Moment of applause for the president.

He now starts to speak...

19 Nov 14:06
President Jacob Zuma is due to appear in the National Assembly for the last presidential question and answer session of the year.

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