President Jacob Zuma has brushed aside the growing call for his resignation, saying he has more pressing issues to deal with than such calls.
The President who was addressing the members of the National Assembly on Tuesday, said he is not yet aware of any calls from the cabinet for his resignation neither is he aware of any arm of the government being at war with each other.
The President particularly addressed market fear of power struggle between government and the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
“There is no war between the Presidency and the Treasury.” Zuma repeated twice in response to a question in Parliament. “I am clarifying that point. It must be as clear as anything,” he told lawmakers.
On the call for his resignation, Jacob Zuma said: “I have not heard the ministers saying they have got no confidence in the president. I have heard voices of people raising their own views – and they have the right to express those views – and they have not explained, what are these issues,”
“I can’t spend my time addressing that. As a political activity that politicians get involved in, we are accustomed to that.
Zuma went on to say he was more concerned about how to explain the so-called SOE oversight committee, which has a task to make sure public enterprises work.
“Whether someone has a view about you – or any other politician for that matter – it doesn’t matter; it doesn’t affect what government is doing,” Zuma said. “But politicians have a right to express a view about anyone.”
On that, Zuma said the SOE oversight committee was not set up on his recommendation, rather, that it came at the recommendation of the committee previously set up under the guidance of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, which said South Africa’s SOEs needed guidance under a wider committee.
I Am Abused By MPs In Parliament
President Jacob Zuma went on to lament the constant heckling he faces from opposition parties when he tries to address Parliament.
“Each time when I come here, I am abused by members of your house. Instead of answering questions, I sit here being called a criminal, a thief,” Zuma said as he told the National Assembly that it would be unfair for him to step off, without raising his concerns.
Zuma’s lament on the abuse he receives from the parliament came at the time the Economic Freedom Fighters walked out of Parliament after initially disrupting his answers to the National Assembly.
“We’ll come back when the criminal is gone, we are not going to listen to the criminal,” EFF leader Julius Malema said as they moved out of the house.
Addressing this, President Zuma told the Parliament to do something about it.
“You are going to make it very difficult for me to wilful my constitutional obligations, I think if I don’t raise the matter, I would be failing in my duty.”
“I have to sit here and wait for these discussions. Your house must do something. If this house is not interested in me answering questions, you must say so, then don’t call me,” he said, before stepping off the podium.
Earlier before the EFF left the house, the Congress of the People refused to allow Zuma to speak, as Willie Madisha disputed the president’s ‘honour’.