MPs must change behaviour - UDM

2016-02-18 16:00

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Cape Town - UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa asked MPs to work on changing their behaviour in the National Assembly, following two days of insults and below-the-belt jabs at one another.

"Our concern... is that we are inculcating a culture of intolerance which at some point is going to lead to political instability. We have to exercise better restraint," he urged MPs following President Jacob Zuma's reply to the State of the Nation address (SONA) debate on Thursday.

"We have to try and change our ways of behaving in the House because we have clearly taken a wrong turn. My words, ladies and gentlemen, are not in judgement of your actions, they stand as a mere caution."

He said MPs needed to change the course of things before it was too late, and work together to build South Africa.

MPs from both sides of the House applauded Kwankwa.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete thanked him for "sticking your neck out" on the issue.

During his reply earlier, Zuma also addressed the behaviour of MPs.

"When you exercise your right, don't undermine the next person. It's a matter I believe we need to be united on, then we will have time to disagree and agree, but with respect."

Zuma said Parliament needed to be portrayed correctly.

"We can't call ourselves honourable, but behave dishonourably. I will never agree with that. It's not helping the image of the country."

Zuma's reply to the SONA debate focused on the economy and plans to get the country through a difficult time.

The president also spoke about education, crime prevention and social cohesion.

Read more on:    udm  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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