Responding to the debate on his annual address to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday evening, President Jacob Zuma accused opposition parties of being clueless and lacking the appropriate thing to say.
A furious Zuma made the comments while taking a swipe at opposition members who sought to hear his own side of the story as it regards to the several allegations made veteran journalist Jacques Pauw in his new book, The President’s Keepers.
The president, who had previously maintained that it’s not to duty to answer “books” but MPs, mocked the honourable for spending with “novels” written by his critics, who have no good intention for him.
“People know they can’t discuss anything. They try not to sleep, reading the books, uh-huh, all the lies and speculation and imagination of people.
That’s become the politics, the politics to use here: ‘That is the book, you know! This is the book. Can you say no to this book…’ Jirrrrr. Novels! It is people who sit down and just think and composition of people. (sic).”
Swinging his notebook around behind the podium, Zuma urged opposition groups to stop relying on books as part of their unrelenting focus on him.
At least, three MPs were spotted with books written about Zuma while the President was delivering his annual address to the NCOP – the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa. One of them was DA MP from the Free State, George Michalakis. The other was DA MP from the Eastern Cape Leon Magwebu.
While Michalakis was busy digging deep into The President’s Keepers, his colleague – Magwebu was having a good time with Redi Thlabi’s recent book Khwezi, a biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo, who accused Zuma of rape.
Another DA MP, Jacques Julius, from Gauteng also had Pauw’s book under his arm when he stepped up to make his speech. He took out time to bash the president for evading tax while his “sheepish” party members paid theirs.
“There can be no doubt anymore that Jacob Zuma is now the rampokker [Afrikaans for mobster] boss, the groot kokkedoor [big Kahuna],” said Julius, eliciting reactions from the ANC that he was impugning Zuma’s character.
“How can we trust a man with our tax money if he has not filed tax returns himself? The sheepish ANC MPs here pay tax. The man is not paying tax,” Julius stated.
While Zuma’s stay in the House lasted, he reiterated that his government’s policy of radical economic transformation is not mere rhetoric, as he committed to improving the lives of vulnerable South Africans, particularly in rural areas.
On higher education fees, he announced that he’s being advised by an interministerial committee and the Presidential Fiscal Committee on the recommendations of the Heher Commission and would make an announcement soon.
Weighing on the farm murder protest held in the country last week, the president condemned the protesters for displaying racist apartheid symbols, adding that the country will not condone any divisive conduct which seeks to take it backward.