President Jacob Zuma won’t fail to show up in parliament on May 17, 2016, says the African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday. The ruling party asserted that irrespective of the dark clouds hanging over the president, he will still appear in the National Assembly for his second oral reply session this year.
On Wednesday‚ Steenhuisen also stated that he “finally received confirmation that President Zuma will answer oral questions in the National Assembly on 17 May 2016”.
Before this time, the presidency was asked to pick up a day for the crucial event. ANC’s Moloto Mothapo also revealed that all parties agreed to wait for the Presidency to come up with a suitable date for the president’s appearance in the National Assembly. He stated that the arrangement was made because Parliament’s programme has been shortened to cater for the local government elections campaign.
But, opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s chief whip‚ John Steenhuisen slammed the ruling party for not picking a date after Nkandla’s judgement, stating that it failed to come up with a date earlier before now because they wanted to push Zuma off from answering questions in parliament.
But Mothapo described the DA’s assertions as ‘mindless posturing’, maintaining that such argument is apparently baseless because Zuma will not fail to take up questions from the MPs on May 17.
He said, “Unsurprisingly, the DA’s usual lies and misinformation recently claimed publicly that the President will not be appearing before the House this year to respond to questions from Members of Parliament.
This is despite the DA having been part of both the National Assembly Programme Committee and the Chief Whips Forum meetings, where parties agreed that the Questions and Answer sessions with the President should not be scheduled on the current version of the programme of parliament until discussions with the Presidency about the exact dates of his availability are concluded,” Mothapo asserted.
Zuma Must Make It On May 17- ANC
He concluded by reiterating the party stance that “Despite 2016 being the year of the elections, which affects the normal programming of Parliament as there are fewer plenary sessions, the President will still appear before the House four times to respond to MPs’ questions”.
Meanwhile, DA’s Steenhuisen has promised to hold NAPC meeting on Thursday and work with the committee to make sure that he [Zuma] appears before the National Assembly as soon as possible.
He clarified out that “Rule 111(1)(a) requires the president to appear before the house at least once every term to answer questions from members of Parliament‚ and 110 (1) requires the deputy president to do so every second week”.
President Jacob Zuma’s appearance in parliament on May 17 will be the second in this year’s quarterly Oral Questions and Answer session.