Mabuza dodges question on whether he met with the EFF
26 April 2018
Deputy President David Mabuza dodged a question on whether he met with the EFF to discuss their proposed amendment to Parliament's rules, that would give the House fewer opportunities to question the deputy president.
In his follow-up question during Wednesday's question session with Mabuza, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen asked him what he thought of the EFF's "rather bizarre request" to amend the rules that there be fewer of these sessions with the deputy president.
Currently, there is one every month while the House is in session and the EFF proposes that the number be reduced to one a term.
Steenhuisen also asked if he met with the EFF about it.
EFF MP Natasha Ntlangwini raised a point of order, saying Steenhuisen should withdraw his "disingenuous question" and rather ask them.
But Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said Steenhuisen had the right to ask the question.
"The honourable Steenhuisen must just remember that I'm the convenor of Gauteng. We still have Pretoria and Johannesburg," Ntlangweni warned, raising the possibility of also trying to remove those cities' DA-mayors who were in government with the EFF's support.
Mabuza, who smiled as he listened to Steenhuisen, answered: "My opinion is, you must understand that members of the executive are, in between [coming to Parliament], responsible for running the affairs of government."
He said they must have an opportunity to do their work. "The life of ministers is a very difficult life," he said.
"Aaaahhhh," the DA groaned in mock sympathy.
'I'm not running away'
"You can have me as many times as you want. I'm not running away," said Mabuza.
Steenhuisen then pointed out that Mabuza didn't answer the part of the question about meeting with the EFF.
EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi complained to Tsenoli: "Why does he keep asking this boring question?"
In Steenhuisen's original question, he asked which measures Mabuza had taken to ensure ministers' attendance of the National Assembly.
He gave several measures, such as the introduction of an attendance roster, "streamlined communication", and the appointment of three ministers to monitor their colleagues' attendance.
"Parliament must be respected," said Mabuza.
He said the executive took the responsibility very seriously.
"That is why we answer questions," he said.
"Not my question," quipped DA MP David Maynier.
Earlier, Maynier asked Mabuza for his opinion on the independence of the Reserve Bank, since ratings agency Moody's mentioned it as a positive factor in South Africa.
Mabuza refused to answer the question and said that the ratings agencies did not refer to the Reserve Bank only for Maynier to quote the passage in the report where it mentioned the Reserve Bank.
Maynier then accused Mabuza of telling an "outright lie" to the National Assembly.
But Speaker Baleka Mbete ruled that the matter be dealt with elsewhere.