Parties not taking voters seriously - Zuma

2014-06-20 14:12
President Jacob Zuma (Sumaya Hisham, AP)

President Jacob Zuma (Sumaya Hisham, AP)

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WATCH: Malema being kicked out of Parliament

2014-06-20 08:50

Watch the EFF leader Julius Malema being ordered to leave the National Assembly, trailed by other EFF members. WATCH

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma told MPs that there has been a “very dramatical” decline in other parties, which indicated that they did not take voters seriously.

On Friday the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were warned that they risk parliamentary sanction.

Thandi Modise, who chaired the joint sitting for the last stretch of the debate, said an EFF MP had behaved unacceptably as party leader Julius Malema led a walkout from the National Assembly chamber on Thursday night and hinted he could be disciplined.

"While leaving, disruptive and unacceptable behaviour was demonstrated by a member of those honourable members," Modise said, without naming the particular MP.

"This could very well be a matter that could reside under the mandate of the powers and privileges committee."

Minutes before, Zuma had told MPs he believed South Africans watched the debate closely to see how parties performed so that they could decide whether they would continue to vote for them.

"The evidence of the decline - very dramatical in other parties - I think it indicates that they don't take their voters seriously.

"We are about South Africa in the main. The fact that we belong in different parties is because we choose different methods and ideas of reaching there," he added.

"I would like to appeal that, as we continue the debates, we must indeed be seen by the country that we all love our country, that we don't want to deal with one another as individuals because that reduces the debate of the country to individual debates."

Heated debate

Wednesday and Thursday's debate on Zuma's speech saw bare-fisted criticism of Zuma from Malema and DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane, which earned them scathing put-downs from Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Malema accused Zuma of being "scared of white people" and Maimane said voters were used to the president being at the centre of scandals and would not trust him until he dealt openly with the lavish use of public funds to improve his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Malema, who was delivering his maiden speech in the legislature, also charged that the "the ANC massacred the people in Marikana".

This statement led to the EFF's unruly walkout, as Modise on Thursday night ruled that the statement was unparliamentary and ordered Malema to withdraw it.

He refused, saying the ANC readily took credit when crime rates went down, and should therefore shoulder the blame for the shooting of striking mineworkers at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

His colleagues followed him out of the chamber, loudly protesting as they went.

One of them shouted at Modise that she was the premier of North West province at time of the shooting.

She responded: "Yes, I was the premier."

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  thandi modise  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation 2014
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