ANC re­verts to Plan A with the demise of truce

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE SCUP­PER­ING of the peace deal be­tween the state and op­po­si­tion par­ties has forced the ANC to re­in­state dis­ci­plinary charges against 20 EFF MPs for dis­rupt­ing Par­lia­ment four months ago.

While it was ex­pected that Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa would meet with the op­po­si­tion next week to thrash out dif­fer­ences on the run­ning of Par­lia­ment, the peace deal has been called off.

Par­lia­ment has forged ahead with the sanc­tions im­posed on the EFF MPs for dis­rupt­ing pro­ceed­ings in Au­gust.

The sanc­tions range from sus­pen­sions to dock­ing of one month’s salary.

Par­ties squab­bled on Par­lia­ment’s pro­gramme, lead­ing to a long ad­journ­ment.

The change of at­ti­tude by the rul­ing party also opened the way for more dis­ci­plinary charges against other MPs in­volved in last week’s scuf­fles with the po­lice and chaos in the House.

Both Ramaphosa and the ANC said yes­ter­day the con­duct of the DA and its par­lia­men­tary leader Mmusi Maimane to push through a mo­tion of cen­sure against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma on Wed­nes­day had ren­dered the deal worth­less.

This came at the time when the cab­i­net fully backed Zuma for his no-show in Par­lia­ment in re­cent times.

Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe told the me­dia at a post-cab­i­net brief­ing that Zuma was com­mit­ted to an­swer­ing ques­tions in Par­lia­ment.

But the dis­rup­tion of pro­ceed­ings in the House had made a mock­ery of democ­racy and those who fought in the Strug­gle against apartheid.

“The in­tegrity of Par­lia­ment as a demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tion must be pro­tected and guarded by all mem­bers,” Radebe said.

The back­ing of Zuma by the cab­i­net had shown that the pres­i­dent en­joyed the support of his ad­min­is­tra­tion and the ANC.

In an ear­lier state­ment, ANC chief whip Stone Sizani ac­cused the DA of reneg­ing on the deal and said it was now off.

In the Na­tional Assem­bly, the ANC put back on the agenda the re­port on the sus­pen­sion and fines im­posed on EFF MPs.

The re­port was ap­proved by the Pow­ers and Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee last week and sent to the Na­tional Assem­bly for en­dorse­ment yes­ter­day.

Radebe said the op­po­si­tion was run­ning a pro­pa­ganda cam­paign that Zuma did not want to an­swer ques­tions in Par­lia­ment. He de­scribed this as a mis­nomer.

PIC­TURE: HENK KRUGER

‘STICK TO THE RULES’: DA par­lia­men­tary leader Mmusi Maimane, party chief He­len Zille and sup­port­ers protest on the steps of Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day after Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma failed to ap­pear in the House to re­spond to ques­tions, end­ing a truce bro­kered by the deputy pres­i­dent.

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