DA will hold Zuma to Parly date

2015-01-21 17:45
(File: Sapa)

(File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The DA on Wednesday said it intended to ensure President Jacob Zuma honoured the presidency's proposed date for answering questions in the National Assembly.

"The DA will closely monitor this matter to ensure the president meets his obligations," the party's Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said in a statement.

He was reacting to the news that Zuma would take questions in the National Assembly on 11 March.

Steenhuisen said the question session would "ensure that the President fulfils his parliamentary duty".

The DA would demand that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete provided more dates later in the year for Zuma to answer parliamentary questions.

The president is obliged to answer questions in the National Assembly four times per year. His last session, in August, ended in chaos.

"Furthermore it will negate recent threats to disrupt the State of the Nation Address by other opposition parties that would have otherwise afforded the president another opportunity to escape accountability and deprived millions of South Africans the answers they deserve."

Opposition parties have accused Zuma of trying to avoid answering questions in Parliament.

On 21 August, EFF MPs interrupted Zuma's replies to questions by banging on their desks and chanting "pay back the money".

This was in reference to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendation that Zuma repay that part of the R246m spent on upgrades to his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, home not related to security.

Since then he has not returned to answer questions.

The EFF has vowed to disrupt Zuma's State of the Nation address on 12 February unless a special sitting of the National Assembly is scheduled for Zuma to answer questions.

Last week Mbete urged EFF leader Julius Malema not to use Zuma's address to demand that he answer questions on the Nkandla controversy.

The Speaker's office said it would continue talking to the presidency to ensure the rest of the year's question sessions were scheduled.

On Monday the SABC quoted Zuma denying he had refused to answer questions in Parliament.

"The president has never refused to come to answer questions," he told the public broadcaster.

"I have been hearing those kinds of sloganeering out there. Nobody has said I must come to Parliament [and] I refused."

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics  |  parliament 2015

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