‘Abused’ Zuma to face grilling in Parliament

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma will face a tough grilling during his last question-and-answer session for the year in the National Assembly.

Zuma will answer questions in Parliament on Wednesday, his first appearance since he blasted the Speaker for not “protecting him” during his sessions in the National Assembly.

The president, who has not had an easy year in Parliament, will answer questions on ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des Van Rooyen’s bids to stop the release of the State of Capture report.

“Whether he and/or his legal team instructed Zwane and/or van Rooyen, to lodge applications to interdict the release of the Public Protector’s report, entitled State of Capture, due to the specified persons’ alleged relationships with the Gupta family; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the reasons in each case?” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane wants to know.

Zwane will again be in the spotlight with the president also expected to answer questions on the closure of Oakbay Investments’ accounts by major banks.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa asks if Zuma applied his mind to the proposal of the inter-ministerial committee on the closure of the accounts, and what his decision in this regard was.

University fees, ratings agencies

Zwane announced that Cabinet had recommended a judicial inquiry into the closure of the bank accounts, but Zuma later distanced Cabinet from the statement.

The president will also be grilled on whether government had reached an agreement with the students regarding 2017 higher education fees and the government’s position on calls for free education.

Other questions on the agenda include one on whether he has found that sufficient steps have been taken by the government to satisfy the concerns expressed by ratings agencies earlier in the year.

He will also give input on how government characterised its strategy going forward in the diplomatic, trade and security arenas, with reference to the annual South African Heads of Mission Conference that was held in October 2016.

During his last appearance in the National Assembly, Zuma said he was always subjected to abuse by opposition MPs.

This followed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ refusal to let him speak on the grounds that they did not recognise him as the country’s president.

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