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Fri Dec 02 22:01:41 SAST 2016

For once, Zuma behaved like a president should

The Times Editorial | 2016-02-19 00:56:47.0

Why should he be forced into a corner before he behaves like a president should? Why must he be taken to court and threatened with impeachment before he agrees to do the right thing?

President Jacob Zuma should not push the constitution to its limit before he follows the rules that guide his office.

The constitution, born of sweat and blood, is not framed in his office merely for display. It is there to remind him of the responsibilities he carries as the head of state.

Yesterday, Zuma sounded a good note, such as one expects from a president.

For the first time he spoke in defence of parliament and at times agreed with oppositions members.

It was a pleasure to hear him speak.

We need that Zuma from yesterday.

It cannot be that when we are faced with difficulties Zuma joins in the rowdiness of MPs who have provided material for a comedy show. We deserve better.

We hope ANC MPs will join Zuma and begin acting in a way that inspires confidence, and start discussing ideas, not individuals.

What is important about yesterday is that Zuma left the giggling and the insults at the door and for once concentrated on what matters to South Africans.

We are all concerned about the rand and how its depreciation will affect service delivery.

Yesterday, the parliamentary budget office and the World Bank made presentations to parliament's standing and select committees on finance and appropriations.

What emerged there concerns us all.

The committees said that tough decisions would need to be taken as the country battles with drought, the exchange rate and the effects of the zero fee increases for higher education.

These are aspects that ought to have dominated parliament over the past three days.

We must prioritise and look beyond the political corners we defend.

South Africa comes first.

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