Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

25 August 2014

South Africa: Op-Ed - Parliament - More At Stake Than EFF Conduct

Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht/Sapa
Policemen break up a scuffle between Economic Freedom Fighters MPs and ANC members at Parliament in Cape Town.

analysis

South Africans fought hard for the rule of law to prevail. Now they must preserve and defend it.

Much has been made of last week's drama in which unprecedented scenes erupted in Parliament after President Jacob Zuma would not answer questions from Economic Freedom Fighter MPs about his response to the Public Protector (PP)'s report on Nkandla. The EFF has been berated for its behaviour, but is this the most important consideration?

The PP found the president was unlawfully enriched through upgrades to his Nkandla estate and that he should pay back a reasonable portion of this expenditure. Instead, Zuma commissioned other reports from bodies not enjoying the PP's Constitutional status and declined to respond to the PP's recommendations.

On being questioned by EFF leader, Julius Malema, the president refused to further address the findings or to say whether he would pay back any money.

The Speaker in turn did not press Zuma to provide more information then, or at a later date, as he is still Constitutionally required to do. Matters escalated. Parliament was thrown into disarray with EFF chants of "pay back the money!" and the Public Order police unit were summoned to eject the...

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InFocus

S.Africa: 'Plan' for Parliamentary Disruptions

Policemen break up a scuffle between Economic Freedom Fighters MPs and ANC members at Parliament in Cape Town.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has said that measures will be taken in future to manage chaotic disruptions in Parliament following protests by members of the Economic ... Read more »