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Parly remains part of Zuma’s programme: Presidency

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Parliamentary work remains part of President Jacob Zuma’s schedule, the presidency said on Thursday.

“The Presidency has noted discussions around President Jacob Zuma’s programme and parliamentary work,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“We wish to reiterate that although the President is not a Member of Parliament, his annual calendar always includes parliamentary work and that has been the case since his first term in 2009.”

His programme included Joint Sittings of Parliament, such as Zuma’s State of the Nation Address to be held on February 12.

This date would be Zuma’s first time returning to Parliament since being heckled by the Economic Freedom Fighters in August — a point EFF leader Julius Malema raised at a Johannesburg press briefing on Tuesday.

“We are scared that if we don’t hold Zuma accountable on the 12th of February, we are likely to see him again in 2016,” Malema said.

“He may not come back after the state of the nation because he has proved that he doesn’t take Parliament seriously…”

On August 21 last year, pandemonium broke out in Parliament when EFF MPs banged on their desks and chanted “pay back the money”, in relation to the Nkandla controversy, disrupting Zuma’s replies to questions.

The presidency said Zuma also attended the finance minister’s budget speeches in February and October, the presidency’s budget vote debate and was occasionally invited to attend special debates in the National Assembly.

Other engagements on Zuma’s agenda included oral questions in the National Assembly four times per year, as well as in the National Council of Provinces once a year, and Questions for Written Reply “which are responded to whenever sent by Members of Parliament during the year”.

“The date for the first quarter oral question time will be finalised with the National Assembly in due course and will be communicated publicly as part of the President’s programme that is released to the media regularly,” Maharaj said. SAPA

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