Malema not waiting till March for Zuma

2015-01-21 19:54
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema is not prepared to wait until March to demand answers from President Jacob Zuma regarding upgrades to his private Nkandla home.

"We have an appointment with him on the 12th of February and he is going to answer questions," Malema told Sapa in an interview on Wednesday.

"The leadership of the EFF is highly charged and... we cannot abandon the programme. We are confronting corruption and we are confronting the face of corruption and, therefore, we must not be apologetic about it."

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.

Malema on Wednesday warned there would be "heated" arguments during the State of the Nation next month but this would not warrant the police being called in again.

"The police have got no room to play where members of Parliament are arguing amongst themselves.

"We are going to have a heated argument between ourselves and the president and the Speaker including those voting cattle of the ANC there," he said.

However, the police had no right to enter the House.

"They are not elected, they must go and fight crime somewhere else.

"It's not a crime to ask the president questions so there is no need for them to come into Parliament."

Earlier on Wednesday, Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that Zuma would answer questions in the National Assembly in March.

The presidency had recommended 11 March, almost a month after Zuma's State of the Nation address.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the National Assembly would provide feedback and preparations would begin once the date was confirmed by Parliament.

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

‘Pay back the money’

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.

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

In November, riot police were called into the National Assembly after EFF MP Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela had called Zuma a "thief" and refused to leave the House when ordered to.

Malema once again on Wednesday took the opportunity to dismiss a report that he was in talks with the ANC about returning to the ruling party and that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was facilitating the talks.

Last month, Madikizela-Mandela told the SABC that she hoped Malema would come back home.

Malema reiterated that he would not return to the ANC and had not spoken to the party's leaders in almost three years.

He said the report that he was planning a return was "not worth paying attention to" and would not happen.

Despite this he continued to have a good relationship with Madikizela-Mandela.

"When I spoke to her in December we were speaking about the wedding. I haven't spoken to her in a long time... I'm still going to see her and introduce my wife to her. It's not about any other serious issue between me and her," he said.

Read more on:    eff  |  jacob zuma  |  winnie madikizela mandela  |  julius malema  |  cape town  |  politics  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation

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