President Jacob Zuma has refused to engage with opposition criticism levelled against him in the National Assembly but he’s urged Speaker Baleka Mbete to get her House in order.
Zuma was confronted by largely empty opposition benches when he replied to the debate on the Presidency’s budget vote this afternoon.
He also strongly condemned the burning of 17 schools and other facilities in the Limpopo district of Vuwani, saying that no grievance could justify such destruction.
Opposition parties that boycotted today’s parliamentary sitting because they don’t want to legitimise Zuma’s Presidency with their presence, have been lashed by the African National Congress (ANC) for contradicting themselves.
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The ANC says the same parties participated in yesterday’s debate on the Presidency’s budget Vote, but a day later they’ve refused to associate themselves with the process.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane insists there’s no contradiction in his party’s decision to boycott Zuma’s reply.
“It’s not a contradiction, neither is our participation even yesterday legitimising the president. We wanted it to be clear to put forward our message that the president to face charges, that the president has in fact violated the Constitution and yesterday we felt as opposition parties we must come and communicate that.”
However, ANC spokesperson Moloto Mothapo disagrees.
“It is driven more by the opposition’s psychological mob mind than any substance. We don’t take it seriously.”
Mothapo has described the boycott as a desperate electioneering gimmick.