Monday, 16 February 2015

Mixed reactions to Mbeki’s Sona comments

CAPE TOWN - There has been mixed reaction from opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) this afternoon to former President Thabo Mbeki's comments about tensions in Parliament.

Chaos erupted during the president's State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday evening when police and security personnel dragged Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) out of the Nation Assembly chamber.
Mixed reactions to Mbeki’s Sona comments
EFF members were forcibly removed after interrupting the president, wanting to know when he will 'pay back the money' in reference to the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Watch: EFF leader Julius Malema dragged from Parliament

The following day, Mbeki told University of South Africa students the drama was the result of a political problem that was "beyond" Parliament.

Mbeki says a political solution was needed to solve a political problem.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says while it's not clear exactly what Mbeki means by the term "political problem", he agrees a solution is needed.

“Mbeki has always been able to decipher problems in ways that are refreshing and I think that his insight is important and perhaps his comrades in the African National Congress (ANC) are able to listen and heed his advice.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen says the conflict between the EFF and the president dates back to when EFF leader Julius Malema was kicked out of the ANC.

“That’s why it’s important that all leaders come together to determine how we are going to make Parliament work. In the apex instututions of our democracy, it’s essential we have an effective and functioning Parliament to hold the executive to account.”

AgangSA, meanwhile, says the president must simply resign.

(Edited by Gadeeja Abbas)

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