'Pay back the money' adjourns Parliament again

2015-06-18 17:06
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - The National Assembly was once again adjourned as the EFF continued to chant "pay back the money" further delaying President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session in Parliament on Thursday.

"I have exercised patience, I have implemented the rules," Speaker Baleka Mbete said.

"It must be made clear to the public that there are those who came to this Parliament to undermine the will of the people of South Africa. At this point... we can't go on like this and I would like the house to be adjourned until we take a different decision."

Earlier, Mbete had to suspend proceedings in order to have an urgent meeting with the parties' chief whips outside the chamber after the house descended into a screaming match.

On return from the meeting, each party gave a statement on what happened in the meeting.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakuda said the parties agreed to continue with the question and answer session with the president except for the EFF.

"Another burning issue is the issue of Nkandla. Yes all parties raised that, so yes we agreed that we are going to put that aside and deal with the business of today," Dlakuda told Parliament.

The DA agreed that the day's proceedings continue.

The opposition party's Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said that while it felt Zuma should pay back the money the work of Parliament had to continue.

"This Parliament is one of the few institutions in the country which has not been captured by the state," he said.

Other opposition parties agreed that proceedings should continue.

However, the EFF said it would not stop asking Zuma when he planned to pay back the money.

EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu said the party would not stop until Zuma gave a definite answer.

We need clarity in terms of that... The people of South African can't be asked to protect chickens and cattle [at Nkandla]... we want to be told when he is going to pay back the money."

EFF leader Julius Malema asked that when Zuma take the podium he start with the Nkandla matter.

He blamed the collapse of the House on the ANC trying to protect Zuma.

"This over protection of the president has collapsed this house. You can be guaranteed the president will have to answer this question today... you can say no. [But] we are stuck at a point where the president has to tell us when he will pay back the money.

"We will never believe anything he says until he confirms that he will comply with the remedial actions of the public protector," Malema said.

Mbete battled to control the EFF members, who then started chanting forcing her to adjourn.

She adjourned the House while Steenhuisen was still trying to address her.

ANC MPs continued to leave their benches as Steenhuisen tried to speak.

Read more on:    eff  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  nkandla upgrade

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