President Jacob Zuma was in the hot seat in Parliament yesterday as he was roasted by opposition parties.
The Economic Freedom Fighters spent more than an hour in the loo, rather than listen to Zuma addressing the national assembly in his first Q&A session since he paid back the Nkandla money.
On Monday, the presidency confirmed that Zuma had taken out a R7.8million home loan to pay for non-security upgrades to his KwaZulu-Natal home.
The EFF, led by Julius Malema, insisted that Zuma was not a legitimate leader and should not be allowed to address MPs.
“We will wait outside, when the criminal finishes speaking, we will come back,” Malema said.
“We are just going to the loo because we are avoiding the criminal.”
This came after the EFF had spent half an hour skelling with Speaker Baleka Mbete to take action against Zuma because of the finding by the Constitutional Court that he had flouted the Constitution when he failed to heed the Public Protector’s orders to repay a portion of the state money spent on his Nkandla home.
Zuma had taken out a bond with VBS Mutual Bank, of which the Public Investment Corporation reportedly owns 25 percent of.
The PIC is owned by government and invests funds on behalf of public sector entities.
The president appeared to be unfazed by all the drama and started his response to MPs questions by talking about the economy.
Just before he left the podium, Zuma told Parliamentarians that he is being “abused by members of [the] house”.
“Each time when I come here, I am. Instead of answering questions, I sit here being called a criminal, a thief.
“If this house is not interested in me answering questions, you must say so, then don’t call me,” he said.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane also grilled Zuma, asking the president to comment on the statements by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that Zuma was leading “a government that is at war with itself”.
“Do you agree with the deputy president? What action are you taking to stop this war? Or is it benefiting you politically?” Maimane asked.
Zuma replied: ““There is no war between the Presidency and Treasury. Huh-uh. I’m clarifying that point. Whatever perceptions people may have — and perceptions are perceptions — if people are making wrong statements, we will deal with that.”