President Jacob Zuma has strongly rebuked rowdy Members of Parliament (MPs), saying they have turned the people’s Parliament into a beer hall. Last week, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members were forcefully removed from the National Assembly chambers for disrupting the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). They were later followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (COPE).
Zuma says this reflects badly on the country.
“The majority of Members of Parliament understand the serious responsibility that they have been entrusted with and conduct themselves in a manner that gives hope to South Africans. However, some MPs have decided to treat this house as something worse than a beer hall. The conduct we saw in this house traumatised millions of South Africans,” says Zuma.
Earlier, Zuma said government would not apologise for its quest to radically transform the economy. Opposition parties said radical socio-economic transformation would remain a pipe dream. They warned that thousands of jobs would be lost of government tried to further mess with the economy. Zuma said in his reply to the debate those who doubted and opposed transformation didn’t have the interests of the country at heart.
“We agree that economic transformation must not only be radical, it should be revolutionary; the structure, systems, ownership, control and institutions. This is a serious programme and it will be implemented by government using the strategic levers that are available to the State.”