News24

2017-06-22 08:03

President Jacob Zuma.  (Phill Magakoe, AFP File)

President Jacob Zuma. (Phill Magakoe, AFP File)

 

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma is due to face some tough questions on Thursday during his quarterly appearance in Parliament to answer questions from MPs.

MP’s are expected to focus on some of the controversial developments since his last question and answer session in March.

Since then, there has been a mass Cabinet reshuffle, three sovereign credit rating downgrades, and the leak of the infamous #GuptaEmails seen as detailing the extent of the Gupta family’s influence on him, his family, Cabinet and State Owned Enterprises. Zuma has in the past defended his relationship with the family, describing them as friends.

VISIT our #GuptaEmails Special Report

The six scheduled questions on Thursday are:

– ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe has asked if Zuma will ensure matters relating to a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will be expedited.

– ANC MP Phumuzile Ngwenya-Mabila asked what programmes are involved to deliver radical socio-economic achievements in rural areas.

– DA leader Mmusi Maimane has asked if Zuma’s government is still intent on pursuing a new nuclear build programme in light of the Western Cape High Court ruling the previous procurement process unlawful.

– ANC MP Fezeka Loliwe asked what factors are at play in the rise of unemployment in the country.

– AIC leader Galo wants to know if Zuma intends to step down ahead of a Constitutional Court bid to have him impeached.

– ANC MP Hope Malgas has asked how government’s National Social Security Fund will operate.

Maimane also attempted to add an urgent question to the order paper on Wednesday, to get Zuma’s response to South Africa’s current economic recession.

Speaker Baleka Mbete had not responded to Maimane’s request at the time of publication.

Resilient strength 

Zuma has shown a resilient strength in questions sessions over the last 12 months, even when tested with unprepared questions.

He had a also faced criticism for cancelling sessions in prior years, particularly after the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla ruling in March 2016.

In terms of process, the President answers a prepared statement to each of the six written questions. The original questioner then gets to ask a follow up on the subject.

Thereafter, three unprepared questions on the subject are allowed from any member of the House.

The President is Constitutionally obligated to appear four times a year for questions, usually one a term. His past appearances have gone uniterrupted after the Economic Freedom Fighters decided to boycott his appearances, because they don’t recognise him as President.

The sitting will begin at 14:00.