Ramaphosa: We must support Mbete

2014-11-17 11:38

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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, calling her impartial.

She was doing a good job in difficult circumstances amid efforts to disrupt Parliament, he told Beeld newspaper in Itsoseng township, near Lichtenburg, yesterday, while attending a youth development imbizo.

“We must support her,” he was quoted as saying.

Beeld reported that Ramaphosa did not want to say if or when President Jacob Zuma would answer parliamentary questions about the R246 million so-called security upgrades at his private homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, from which Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found he unduly benefited.

“We will speak about that in the next few days,” Ramaphosa reportedly said.

On Thursday, opposition parties shouted down Mbete when she tried to prevent them from bringing dozens of motions – most of them related to spending on the Nkandla upgrades – to delay the adoption of a report exonerating Zuma in the Nkandla saga.

African National Congress MPs retaliated by objecting to the motions. Tempers flared when Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela refused to leave the podium when she was ordered to do so by house chairman Cedric Frolick.

Mashabela had called Zuma a “thief” during a debate on the Grand Inga Hydro Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and refused to withdraw her remarks.

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