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DA tries to cool tensions between EFF and Mbete

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The DA tried to cool tensions between Speaker Baleka Mbete and the EFF during a questions session in Parliament on Thursday.

EFF leader Julius Malema had demanded that President Jacob Zuma answer the “pay back the money” question, but Mbete responded that it had been agreed by all parties that only three other questions would be answered.

Zuma was in the National Assembly after opposition MPs demanded that an extra session be allocated to deal with outstanding questions from August.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen intervened.

“The DA and I made it very clear. We want President Zuma to pay back the money,” he said, to cheers from the EFF.

“But when the house starts operating outside of the rules, then all of us become vulnerable, including small parties. We are duty bound to abide by the rules”.

Mbete had threatened to throw Malema out on Thursday for disrupting activities of the house.

Malema warned her: “You throw me out, you go to court”.

Addressing Mbete, IFP MP Narend Singh said he believed Zuma had answered the question at the last session in August last year.

“Whether it was satisfactory or not is another issue,” he said.

ANC MP Naledi Pandor asked for Mbete to bring order to the house.

“We are here to do the work of Parliament. When there is a resolution on the floor, can we deal with the resolution and finalise it, and not allow disruptions that actually do not assist us in proceedings of the house?” Pandor said.

The house later voted on whether the “agreed” order of the question session should be enforced.

The results were 316 for yes and 18 for no. The number of those who abstained was three. News24

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