ANC MPs must crush opposition, Zuma allegedly said

2014-11-16 07:21
President Jacob Zuma (File, GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma (File, GCIS)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is at the centre of the chaos that erupted in Parliament earlier this week, the Sunday Times reported.

Zuma had reportedly demanded that African National Congress MPs "use their numbers to crush opposition" in Parliament. This demand was allegedly made by Zuma during a national executive committee (NEC) meeting in September, but was only made public recently.

According to the Sunday Times, Zuma reportedly told MPs to stop being "accommodating" and said they should not allow "hooliganism" in the National Assembly that challenged the ruling party's authority in a "most abrasive and shocking manner".

On Thursday, opposition parties shouted down National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete when she tried to prevent them from bringing dozens of motions.

Most of these were related to spending on so-called security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, which Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma to have unduly benefited from.

ANC MP: Opposition exaggerating Madonsela’s findings

Tempers flared over the hours as ANC MPs retaliated by objecting to motions the opposition attempted to bring to delay tabling a report on the upgrades.

Veteran ANC MP Mathole Motshekga, who was pivotal in the ad hoc committee that drafted the report absolving Zuma from responsibility for the alleged abuse of funds at Nkandla, said the opposition was exaggerating Madonsela's findings.

It drew howls of protest from opposition parties.

Members of the police public order policing unit also entered the National Assembly chamber on Thursday night causing a scuffle.

The drama unfolded after Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela refused to leave the podium when she was ordered to do so by house chairperson Cedric Frolick.

Zuma a thief – EFF MP

Mashabela 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.

Mashabela would not be moved when Sergeant-at-Arms Regina Mohlomi tried to escort her from the podium.

Police arrived minutes later tugging at Mashabela - who could be heard shouting "I don't want to be touched".

MPs from opposition benches, expressed outrage, and jumped to Mashabela's defence.

ANC spokesperson in Parliament Moloto Mothapo said in a statement that the unit were part of the parliamentary security system, rather than riot police.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  jacob  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

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