Opposition parties boycott Zuma in Parliament

2016-05-05 13:30
Parliament (File, News24)

Parliament (File, News24)

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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma will be addressing empty benches in Parliament on Thursday, as most opposition parties have seemingly decided to send him a message by staying away.

The president delivered his budget vote on Wednesday, and on Thursday was expected to respond to the slew of insults and suggestions from parties.

But he will be addressing mostly ANC MPs, as Cope, the UDM, FF+, NFP and DA have decided to stay away.

Most EFF MPs were suspended on Wednesday after they were violently ejected from the chamber, when they refused to let Zuma speak.

Boycott

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said parties have decided to boycott Thursday's sitting.

"As representatives of the people of South Africa, we cannot in good conscience legitimise an empty speech of an utterly discredited and illegitimate President," he said.

He said a collective decision was taken after much consideration to send a strong message to South Africa that the opposition won't allow Zuma to trample on the Constitution, ignore court rulings, and then come to Parliament and ask for more money for his office.

"It must be made abundantly clear that we are not against holding President Zuma accountable – but in fact the opposite," he said.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota told News24 on Thursday that they were sticking to their decision not to participate in any of Parliament activities.

"Zuma is illegitimate and so is [Speaker Baleka] Mbete. We are not going to take part in the proceedings."

Making a point

Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder said they wanted to make a point and show Zuma that things could not continue as they were.

"Clearly he does not understand his role and does not take Parliament seriously. We want to send him a message," he said.

Mulder said Zuma could not keep ignoring the courts and Parliament.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said they would not be part of the reply.

The party did not take part in the debate on Wednesday.

"He can address his marshals and instruments," he said.

National Freedom Party chief whip Nhlanhla Khubisa said the party would also not attend the session.

Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  ff+  |  anc  |  udm  |  eff  |  ifp  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2016  |  politics

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