DA walks out following Zuma’s arrival in KZN Legislature

Democratic Alliance media statement by Francois Rodgers, MPL

Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature

 

DA walks out following Zuma’s arrival in KZN Legislature

 

THE Democratic Alliance has today staged a walk-out in the KZN Legislature following the unannounced arrival of former President Jacob Zuma in the House. The incident took place during the province’s Agriculture and Rural Development budget debate.

The walk-out comes as the province faces massive cuts to the equitable share, an unfunded mandate in the form of iZinduna remuneration and VAT increase. Put simply – the DA is not prepared to sit in the same House as the architect of this financial misery, Jacob Zuma.

In terms of process, the erstwhile ANC President’s attendance should have been communicated to all opposition parties prior to his arrival. This was later acknowledged in the House by ANC Deputy Whip Mdumiseni Ntuli.

The DA first got wind of Zuma’s possible arrival before the Budget debate began at which point we called an urgent joint meeting with other KZN Legislature Opposition parties. It was agreed by all parties that a walk out would be staged on Zuma’s arrival.

When Zuma did arrive, the DA stood on a point of order with the Sitting chair, Dr Yusuf Bhamjee. The DA offered the sitting Chairperson the option of allowing the opposition parties or to remove Zuma. The Chairperson ruled that Zuma would be allowed to remain. The DA and the NFP then left the house. The IFP remained seated in spite of our earlier agreement while the EFF resorted to disruptive behavior.

Today’s events clearly show that the ANC is not concerned with the wellbeing of KZN’s people. It showed that it places party before state – the Legislature was busy with one of its most important tasks, the allocation of the provincial budget, yet the ANC saw fit to bring Zuma into it.

The former President’s arrival is also proof of the blind loyalty by KZN Premier, Willies Mchunu and KZN Business and Government Leader, MEC Sihle Zikalala. This in spite of the financial havoc that Zuma has wreaked on our province.

It is clear that the battle lines have been drawn in KZN, with one faction of the ANC pledging its undying support to Zuma, while the other sides with new President Cyril Ramaphosa. it cannot be a coincidence that Ramaphosa made an unannounced visit to address ANC leadership yesterday and today Zuma makes his own unannounced appearance.

The DA will continue the fight to show voters that only the DA can bring about change for all.

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