EFF threat not for Cabinet to discuss - Radebe

EFF MPs interrupted President Jacob Zuma's replies to questions in Parliament last year over Zuma's home in Nkandla. (David Harrison, M&G)

EFF MPs interrupted President Jacob Zuma's replies to questions in Parliament last year over Zuma's home in Nkandla. (David Harrison, M&G)

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) threat to disrupt the State of the Nation address will not be discussed at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said.

“That is the issue of Parliament; we are here as the national executive,” he told reporters in Pretoria.

“Questions must be posed to presiding officers of Parliament. We believe that the institutions of our democracy, like Parliament, have to be respected. We need to differentiate the status of the State of the Nation address. The president will be addressing the nation on special business.”

President Jacob Zuma will deliver his speech next Thursday.

The EFF vowed to disrupt it unless a special sitting of the National Assembly is scheduled before then for Zuma to answer questions about the upgrades to his private home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaker Baleka Mbete has since announced that Zuma will answer questions in the National Assembly in March.

EFF threatens nude appearance
Most recently, the EFF threatened to appear naked in the National Assembly if its members are barred from wearing red overalls, gumboots and maids’ uniforms. This followed efforts by Parliament to toughen regulations on the dress code for MPs.

On Tuesday, Radebe said it was critical for Zuma to deliver the State of the Nation address in Parliament.

“As we know, Parliament is a very good institution created by our Constitution and we need to respect it. In terms of the Constitution, the president, as the head of state, is empowered to convene a special session of both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.”

On August 21, EFF MPs interrupted Zuma’s replies to questions by banging on their desks and chanting “pay back the money”. This was in reference to public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation that Zuma repay that part of the R246-million spent on upgrades to Nkandla not related to security.

Since then, the president has not returned to Parliament to answer questions. – Sapa

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