At last, President Jacob Zuma has opened up about the state of the National Assembly. Perhaps, South Africa’s Members of Parliament forgot that the incessant drama witnessed in Parliament brings the country to scorn and reduces its dignity.
Answering questions on Thursday about his presidency budget reply, President Jacob Zuma labelled the recent behavior of MPs in Parliament an embarrassment and called on National Speaker Baleka Mbete to “get your house in order”.
President Jacob Zuma, who took only 30 minutes to answer questions on the budget noted that whenever he travels to other parts of Africa‚ “people ask me embarrassing questions about this Parliament“.
The embattled president added that people also complained that the “drama‚ theatrics and antics” in SA parliament was changing perceptions of the country as a leading example of constitutional democracy”.
Turning to Mbete‚ he enjoined her to do something saying; “They are now saying we are influencing some of their people the wrong way. Bring this house into some order for the dignity of this country. How can we expect people to respect us as lawmakers? Fix it,” he said.
In her reply, Mbete stated that she had heard similar complaints from the elderly and promised to invite IFP leader Mangasuthu Buthelezi to take part in meetings on the issue, hoping that MPs would behave better “when there is an elderly person among us”.
Remarkably, the IFP was the only opposition party that attended Thursday’s sitting.
However, Zuma patted Mbete on the back for her prowess during proceedings in the House on Wednesday. We’ll recall that EFF MPs were once again physically and violently uprooted out of Parliament after they refused to allow Zuma speak.