The Economic Freedom Fighters note the misleading statements of The Presidency and the President of South Africa that they have been to Parliament for accountability as required by the Constitution and Parliament Rules. On various occasions, The President has claimed that the President has been accountable to parliament and this is purely an opportunistic, disgusting and distasteful lie spread by what is supposed to the highest office in the Land.
As an organisation that always tell the truth and claim no easy victories, the EFF will state the facts as they are and illustrate to the whole of South Africa that Zuma and The Presidency are lying and misleading the nation. Here are the Facts:
1) Rule 111 (1) (a) of the National Assembly Rules states that, “Questions to the President must be – scheduled for a question day at least once per term in accordance with the annual Parliamentary programme”.
2) Since the beginning of the 5th Democratic Parliament post the 2014 General Elections, Parliament has had three Terms, the 1st Term started on the 17th of June 2014 and finished on the 4th of August 2014 (7 weeks); the 2nd term started on the 12th of August 2014 and finished on the 19th of September 2014 (6 weeks); and the 3rd term started on the 14 October and finished on the 28th of November 2014 (7 weeks).
3) According to the Rules of Parliament and as per this schedule, the President was supposed to appear three time for Question sessions in Parliament, and he only came to Parliament once on the 21st of August where the Speaker of Parliament disrupted the proceedings after the President failed to answer the question of when is he going to pay back the money as directed by the remedial actions of the Public Protector.
4) And because the Speaker of Parliament disrupted the proceedings of the 21st of August 2014 preventing the President from answering questions, Rule 111 (6) of the National Assembly Rules should apply and Rule 111 (6) says that “Where the order in which questions are put to the President according to Rule 109(9) is interrupted at the end of a question session, the next question session to the President starts from the point where the order was so interrupted”.
5) President’s visits to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is a separate issue and does not relate to the Constitutional and legal obligation (in terms of Rule 111(1) (a) that he should appear before the National Assembly for Questions.
6) The visit by the President to the National Assembly to listen to the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement does not comply to Rule 111 (1) (a), which categorically state that “Questions to the President must be scheduled for a question day at least once per term in accordance with the annual Parliamentary programme”.
7) The Parliamentary Programme issues by The Secretary of Parliament for 2015 does not have a Question Session for the President until the Easter Holidays.
What these facts illustrate is that out of 4 Question Sessions, Zuma would have only attended 1/2 Question Session because the 21st of August 2014 Question Session could not be concluded after The Speaker of the National Assembly disrupted the proceedings and called the police to remove EFF Members of Parliament. What these facts illustrate is that Parliament intends to continue with the distasteful sub-culture of not holding the President accountable.
The Economic Freedom Fighters will never let Parliament violate the Constitution and the Rules that dictate that the President and the Executive should be held accountable. This therefore informs our call for an urgent session to be called for the President to answer questions in Parliament. Our demand is not unreasonable, it is a demand that the President should comply to the Constitution and Rules of the National Assembly.
We have written and re-written to the Speaker of the National Assembly to call a sitting of Parliament prior to the 12th of February 2015 to allow the interrupted Question Session to the President to continue until completion. We have indicated to the Speaker and not made threats, that failure of Parliament convening a Question Session for the President prior to the 12th of February 2015 will leave us with no option, but to ask questions on the 12th of February 2015. Once again, we wish to state to The Speaker and Parliament that this is not a threat, but a commitment to hold the President accountable as per the laws that govern the country and Parliament.
Added to the Question of When will Jacob Zuma Pay Back the Money as directed by the remedial actions of the Public Protector, EFF Members of Parliament would still want to ask the questions such as the following:
a) The US$10 million (more than R100 million) that was brought to South Africa from Nigeria.
b) The suspension of Hawks leadership.
c) The actual purpose of the President’s recurrent visits to Angola.
d) Whether the water the President said will be delivered in Giyani before the 30th of September 2014 has been delivered.
e) Where will the many students that existed the secondary school level go after Matriculation because there are no enough first year spaces in institutions of Higher Learning?
f) What exactly does Jacob Zuma mean when he says apartheid is the cause of the electricity crisis when ESKOM has pointed to scientific and technical challenges caused by the current government, including doubling the costs for the construction of the new power stations?
g) What is government doing to contain the continued theft of South Africa’s potential revenue because a recent report by Global Financial Integrity illustrates that more than US$122 billion (more than R1 trillion) illegally left South African between 2003 and 2012.
These and many other questions should be responded to as urgent as possible and we need oral responses from the President. The EFF was voted into Parliament by more than 1.1 million South Africans and they have given us a clear mandate to hold the Executive Accountable. The EFF also cautions the Speaker to stop making threats of members of Parliament on the Powers & Privileges Committee kangaroo courts, because she will once again be humiliated by South Africa’s Courts after wasting millions trying to charge and prosecute EFF Members of Parliament.
We are a fearless generation of economic freedom fighters and will never be intimidated by anything when demanding accountability.
ISSUED BY FLOYD SHIVAMBU