MPs take gloves off in Parliament

Kgalema Motlanthe and President Jacob Zuma share a moment during the parliamentary debate on Zuma's State of the Nation address. Picture: GCIS.

Bunch of losers, damp squip, heckling, shut up, marijuana and you are wasting my time all featured at the raucous debate of last week’s State of the Nation address in Parliament yesterday, where MPS had a go at each other.

The gloves came off during the heated debate in Parliament when National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu ordered Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu – ironically his sister – twice to withdraw her “shut up” remark.

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi was the first to take to the podium, accusing opposition parties of trying to paint the ANC as a different party to the one started in 1912. “They don’t even know who their president is,” Motsoaledi said.

“How does the DA explain starting their story with one Helen Zille and end off with another Helen who doubts herself?”

DA MP Tim Harris said people are inspired by how DA has turned Western Cape into a place of hope.

“People are tired of ANC stories,” he said.

“DA in Western Cape created 100 000 more jobs than targets.”

COPE MP Thozamile Botha said public perception is that ANC-run local governments are incompetent and inherently corrupt.

“Councillors are portrayed as self-serving tenderpreneurs, with provincial and national governments lacking the political will to intervene,” Botha said.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said it is a crime against humanity to deny people like himself (cancer patients) medical marijuana.

“We will be going to court to contest laws that forbid the medicinal use of marijuana,” he said.

Ambrosini pleaded with Zuma and his government to decriminalise the medical use of dagga.

Minister Sisulu said the Western Cape province is the index of a failed province that had spent billions on consultants.

She said Zuma had conceded the country still has a long way to go, but said the Western Cape has been index of failure.

“We are very proud of what this country has done, this is not the ANC speaking, but our civil society on our work.

“Your own prejudice prevents you from admitting that the president gave a very good speech on a very good story.”

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said the Bible does not say when Jesus Christ will return.

“It could be today, it could be tomorrow… or it could be on May 7,” he said in reference to Zuma’s remarks that the ANC will rule until Jesus comes back.

He said axed ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is using the same tactics he learnt from the ANC against them.

“Trade unions like Numsa are trying to ruin the ANC, but what they are doing are destroying our economy.”

DA MP Kohler-Barnard said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Zuma have failed to provide leadership and guidance on strong policing.

“It is not just ordinary civilians being killed. Police officers are being killed too,” she said.

“The criminal system is in crisis. some of our cases never even make it to court.”

ANC MP Annelize van Wyk accused the DA of being funded by the companies that were implicated in tender rigging.

DA Federal chairperson Wilmot James said Zuma’s speech sounded like it was written by an advertising agency.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba hit back, saying the DA is not principled.

“This was a poor showing by Professor James,” he said. “The DA is famous for information that … cannot be backed.”


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