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.


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...

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.