(in the pic - Community Members). President Jacob Zuma addressing the community of Elsies River and surrounding areas during the Fight against Crime Imbizo held at Adriaanse Community Centre in Elsies River, Cape Town. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. 30/05/2017, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

In The News South Africa

Salvo of insults fired at Zuma during presidency budget vote

PARLIAMENT, May 31– Ruling party MPs are expected to back the presidency’s budget vote in Parliament after several of its MPs praised the Zuma administration and listed some government successes on Wednesday. Opposition parties, however, found President Jacob Zuma’s budget lacking, again firing a salvo of insults at Zuma.

Zuma opened the debate on his office’s budget of over half a billion rand with a call on communities to help government in its fight against women and child abuse.

He touched on the state capture probe, saying he was not opposed to a judicial commission of inquiry.

“Let me place it on record that there is no opposition either from government or the presidency to the calls for a commission of inquiry into state capture,” Zuma said.

“We fully support an inquiry as it would help uncover the facts and remove rumours about the extent of capture.”

Zuma said the only delay in the appointment of a commission was that he believed former public protector Thuli Madonsela had infringed on his powers as President by directing him to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry in her recommendations in her “State of Capture” report.

“If this is left unattended, it would cause problems even for future heads of state as it sets a wrong precedent,” he said.

“Legal advice obtained pointed at the fact that the remedial action on the appointment of a commission of inquiry undermines the doctrine of separation of powers.”

MPs of South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would not let up as they interjected off-mic throughout his speech.

“We want you in the tjoekie [jail],” was heard coming from DA benches.

Zuma largely ignored the jeers, carrying on with his speech, which also focused on crime, the economy and the new mining charter — which Zuma announced would be gazetted in a few weeks’ time.

“Through the Charter, Government seeks to radically transform the ownership of the South African mining assets by ensuring that black people meaningfully and effectively participate in the mining and minerals industries, while ensuring that the mining industry remains globally competitive.”

While the red hard hats and overall of the Economic Freedom Fighters were missing from the chamber as the party’s MPs stood by their stance that they would not listen to Zuma as they did not regard him as the republic’s legitimate president, DA leader Mmusi Maimane took up the cudgels, setting off sparks in the National Assembly.

“We cannot come and pretend that the presidency is not the headquarters of a Gupta empire, with President Zuma acting as a front for them,” said Maimane.

“This is a budget for president Gupta. Keep that in mind when you cast your vote.”

This statement did not sit well with Speaker Baleka Mbete who insisted Maimane withdraw his reference to “president Gupta”.

Maimane eventually and rather reluctantly withdrew his remarks, but added: “If the shoe fits, you should wear it.”

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and Mbete then took aim at each other.

Mbete advised Steenhuisen to “go for anger management”, with Steenhuisen retorting the Speaker needed “some serious sessions of psychiatry”.

Maimane earlier paid tribute to the ANC’s longest serving president, Oliver Tambo, chiding ANC MPS for invoking his name during budget debates.

“Honourable members, every single time you mention OR Tambo, you remind us how far the ANC has fallen. It pains me to say that the ANC of Oliver Tambo does not exist anymore…

“This president, this man, happened. He killed the ANC,” the opposition leader said as he pointed at Zuma.

Maimane, who indicated his caucus would vote against the presidency’s budget, said those who approved the budget vote were supporting a “mafia shadow state”.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, one of South Africa’s longest serving MPs said he took offence to a budget being presented and accepted by MPs when Parliament did not have a structure to do oversight over the presidency and hold Zuma accountable.

Congress of the People MP Willie Madisha did not mince his words when he proclaimed that Zuma should face treason charges.

“He is a grave threat to our peace and stability. He is a serious threat to our economic security and the well-being of our people,” said Madisha.

“This betrayal of our nation is deep. The unlawful and unconstitutional conduct of Mr Zuma is treasonous.”

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald wanted Zuma to speak to South Africa’s white people.

“What do you want the white people of South Africa to do to ensure that you would be satisfied to make a contribution to the building of South Africa so white people can know where they stand with you?” Groenewald asked.

“Please, for one time in your life, be honest with the white people of South Africa.

Zuma is expected to reply to the debate at 2pm on Thursday.

 

The Presidency budget debate descended into chaos as MPs hurled insults at each other, with some even advising each other to seek psychological help.

MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were on their feet as Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane led the anti-Zuma charge during his speech, including a reference to “President Gupta” and telling MPs a vote for the presidency was a vote for the controversial family at the centre of state capture allegations.

“We cannot come and pretend that the presidency is not the headquarters of a Gupta empire, with President Zuma acting as a front for them,” said Maimane.

“This is a budget for president Gupta. Keep that in mind when you cast your vote.”

ANC MPs demanded an immediate withdrawal from Maimane, with Speaker Baleka Mbete insisting Maimane take back his words or risk not being able to finish his speech.

As both sides shouted insults at each other, Maimane reluctantly withdrew the reference to “President Gupta”, but added: “If the shoe fits, you should wear it.”

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and Mbete then took aim at each other.

Mbete advised Steenhuisen to “go for anger management”, with Steenhuisen retorting the Speaker needed “some serious sessions of psychiatry”.

Maimane earlier paid tribute to the ANC’s longest serving president, Oliver Tambo, chiding ANC MPS for invoking his name during budget debates.

“Honourable members, every single time you mention OR Tambo, you remind us how far the ANC has fallen. It pains me to say that the ANC of Oliver Tambo does not exist anymore…

“This president, this man, happened. He killed the ANC,” the opposition leader said as he pointed at Zuma.

Maimane, who indicated his caucus would vote against the presidency’s budget, said those who approved the budget vote were supporting a “mafia shadow state”.

Opposition MPs jeered and heckled President Jacob Zuma as he tabled the presidency budget vote in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, telling the House he’s not opposed to an inquiry into state capture

“Let me place it on record that there is no opposition either from government or the presidency to the calls for a commission of inquiry into state capture,” Zuma said.

“We fully support an inquiry as it would help uncover the facts and remove rumours about the extent of capture.”

Zuma said the only delay in the appointment of a commission was that he believed former public protector Thuli Madonsela had infringed on his powers as President by directing him to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry in her recommendations in her “State of Capture” report.

“If this is left unattended, it would cause problems even for future heads of state as it sets a wrong precedent,” he said.

“Legal advice obtained pointed at the fact that the remedial action on the appointment of a commission of inquiry undermines the doctrine of separation of powers.”

MPs of South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would not let up as they interjected off-mike throughout his speech.

“We want you in the tjoekie jail,” was heard coming from DA benches.

Zuma largely ignored the jeers, carrying on with his speech, which also focused on crimes against women and children, the economy and the new mining charter, among others.

The seats in the National Assembly reserved for members of the Economic Freedom Fighters were empty. The party has previously said it did not recognise Zuma as the republic’s legitimate president.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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