ANC reverts to Plan A with the demise of truce
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.
‘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.