Thursday, 11 February 2016

'Zuma Not Honourable'

The biggest surprise of the State of the Nation speech was that it was not an EFF MP that called out President Jacob Zuma, but Congress of the People's Mosiuoa Lekota.

The EFF stalled the start of proceedings by about half an hour with a series of points of order and questions.

But Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete was having none of it, declaring at various points "I am not recognising you" and "I am not wanting to listen to you."

But she was called on by the DA's chief whip, John Steenhuisen, to apply the rules equally, accusing her of making up rules.

"If you expect us to abide by the rules, then you must too," he said.

After about 25 minutes of back and forth banter between the Speaker and the parties, Zuma started his speech. But he had barely made it through the welcome notes when Lekota rose to say "the president broke his oath of office. He is no longer honourable. We cannot listen to him".
After about 25 minutes of back and forth banter between the Speaker and the parties, Zuma started his speech. File photo
Image by: REUTERS/Schalk van Zuydam/Pool / REUTERS
Mbete ordered him to leave when he refused to sit down, and he, with the other two COPE MPs in parliament, left the house.

As he left, he was congratulated by EFF members, who looked surprised at his outburst.

The EFF continued trying to interrupt the speech, with Godrich Gardee later rising to question the R500-billion "gone" as a result of the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Nene, who was fired last year, resigned as an MP. Yesterday, his seat next to Minister Jeff Radebe remained empty.

There were several more interruptions. Close to an hour after his speech began, Zuma had still not got to the key points.

One after the other, EFF members stood on points of order and disrupted Zuma's address.

Eventually all the EFF members were ordered to leave the house. But Malema had the f inal word before he and his mem bers exited .

"You are prepared to remove the whole party, which has been elected by the people in defence of one man. Zuma is no longer a president that deserves respect from anyone.

"He has stolen from us.

"He has collapsed the economy of South Africa.

"He has made this country a joke and after that he has laughed at us. We cannot allow Zupta to do as he pleases in this country.

"We are not going to allow that. We are doing what we are doing because we don't recognise [Zuma] as our president. He is not our president."

Before Zuma entered the house, the EFF arrived en masse singing and dancing. At one point, the group sang Imali yethu siyayifuna, which means "we want our money". Source: TimesLive Copyright © Africa 24 News. All rights reserved. Distributed by Africa Metro Global Media ( To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, Click Here.

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