POLITICS

Zuma Says He's Unbothered By The EFF's Disruptions In Parliament

"I was involved in the struggle fighting a lunatic government which was not well. It is not different."

10/02/2017 08:49 SAST | Updated 10/02/2017 09:37 SAST
(SUMAYA HISHAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials force out South African opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members during South African President's speech for the 2017's State Of the Nation Address.

President Jacob Zuma says he is not troubled by the disruptions caused by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Parliament. Zuma said on Friday morning he had faced harsher opponents during the struggle days.

"It doesn't bother me. I was involved in the struggle fighting a lunatic government which was not well. It is not different," he said.

Zuma who was speaking during the TNA Breakfast Briefing in Cape Town to unpack his State of the Nation Address said the behaviour of the EFF was not a reflection of the majority of the country. He said the nation needs to look deeper into the behaviour and analyse it to understand the real reasons why the organisation was started.

"I think the nation has not unpacked that element seriously. That's part of us failing to analyse what happens in the country. I doubt that it's a reflection of the national character. I think it's a reflection of a few kinds of people. Like some party in Parliament once said that these people only represent 6% of the nation. It's not like an overwhelming feeling. We can also analyse how did this party come about? Was it because it had views and visions of how South Africa should be? I don't think so. We are dealing with people who had quarrels with their colleagues and thought that they needed to fight these people," he said.

Zuma's address started over an hour late on Thursday as EFF members kept disrupting proceedings resulting in them being thrown out of the National Assembly. Zuma said the country needed to understand that an organisation was established by young people who were expelled by the ANC, they would be angry with the ANC. He added that the EFF lacked a vision and was not started with one in mind.

"At times we take very useless things and make them major discussions and not discuss real things. The fact that you can make Parliament not to talk and undermine the choice of the majority of this country because you have your own feelings, I think it's a misplaced kind of vision. In fact, there is no vision at all," he said.

Zuma said if it was up to him the EFF would be kicked out of the National Assembly to ensure the business of running the country continues. He called on the nation to reflect and discuss as well as expose what the EFF was doing.

"They are changing what democracy is all about. It's not about angry young people. It's about debating things and what we need to do for our country. You angry at everyone, your colleagues, you are not even respecting your own voters. It means they don't understand why they are in Parliament," he said.

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