Zuma will answer Parly questions in March

2015-01-21 13:57
President Jacob Zuma (File: Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (File: Sapa)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma will answer oral questions in the National Assembly on 11 March, almost a month after delivering his state of the nation address on 12 February.

City Press reported that the presidency informed Parliament on Wednesday that Zuma would be available in March to respond to questions in the National Assembly.

This ends an almost seven-month stand-off between Parliament, the presidency and opposition parties.

City Press has seen the communiqué from the presidency in this regard.

The one-line e-mail, which is addressed to the secretary of the National Assembly, Masibulele Xaso, reads: “This e-mail serves to advise Parliament that the president will be available to respond to oral questions on 11 March 2015, in the National Assembly.”

Sapa reports that presidency spokesperson  Mac Maharaj confirmed this in a statement.

"The president engages Parliament around this time each year when finalising the president's first quarter schedule.

"As usual, the National Assembly will provide feedback and preparations will begin once the date is confirmed by Parliament," he said.

President Zuma last appeared in Parliament in ­August, when his question-and-answer session was ­interrupted by EFF MPs, who shouted “pay back the money”, a reference to findings of the Public Protector that Zuma was ­liable for all non-security upgrades at his home in Nkandla.

Earlier this month, EFF leader Julius Malema wrote to the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, asking her to convene a special sitting of the assembly before Zuma’s state of the nation address on 12 February, to enable him to answer oral questions.

Malema warned in the letter that should his request be ignored, his party would have no choice but to use the state of the nation address to demand answers from the president.

If the EFF carries out its threat, it would be the first time since 1994 that a sitting president’s state of the nation speech is disrupted.

Mbete declined the request, saying it was not necessary to convene a special sitting as her office.

Zuma’s return to answer oral questions in the National Assembly will end a campaign by opposition parties who have been trying to get him back to Parliament to ­answer a number of questions posed by MPs, specifically on the Nkandla matter.

Read more on:    eff  |  baleka mbete  |  julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics  |  parliament 2015  |  nkandla upgrade

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