Latest report reveals that the ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has written to Parliament rules committee to propose a change that would prevent any further criticism of president Jacob Zuma by “abusive” MPs in the National Assembly.
According to a report by Sunday times, the ruling party is buying its way into stopping further criticism against President Jacob Zuma in order to protect his rights.
This comes after President Zuma lamented the increased insult he receives from members of the parliament each time he visits the house for questioning.
Zuma reiterated this during his question and answer session in the National Assembly earlier this month when EFF MPs walked out on him calling him a criminal and a thief
Sunday times reported that Mthembu has written to Parliament Rules Committee to consider how to deal with circumstances where people do things in defiance and outside of the rules.
There, Mthembu noted that EFF leader Julius Malema calling the president a “criminal” and “thief” during the last question and answer session – was the final straw. “Arising out of what happened, I’ve written to the parliament rules committee as the chief whip of the majority party, and I’ve said they must consider this matter.
“They must consider how we deal with circumstances where people … do things in defiance and outside of our rules.
“If you need people to be removed, let them be removed immediately so that we are able to proceed with matters that are before the house.
“I’ve put that matter before the rules committee so that they can deal with that matter,” Mthembu said.
The ruling party has however denied the paper report that it wants new parliament rules that would protect President Jacob Zuma.
ANC Chief Whip spokesperson Moloto Mothapo referred to report as untrue said the party has at no point made such remark.
“The story is wholly based on sensationalized inventions, which he will have an impossible task to prove when the matter is reported to the press ombudsman this week,” the spokesperson said.
Nevertheless, opposition party, the DA said should in case the ruling party goes ahead with its plan to change the rule for Zuma’s sake, it would oppose it.
The paper also reported that Mthembu said the house has to set things right before Zuma returns to the house for further questioning.
“You can hate him with a passion, I don’t care, but shouldn’t you at least, when you are in that house, use that house in the best interest of the people? And that’s where I think we’re losing.” Mthembu reportedly said.