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Opposition parties to boycott Zuma’s reply in Parliament

05 May 2016 - 15:52 By Wyndham Hartley

Eight opposition parties in Parliament announced on Thursday that they would boycott the sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon which is to hear President Jacob Zuma reply to Wednesday’s raucous debate of his budget vote.Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said he had consulted the following opposition parties - the DA‚ Economic Freedom Fighters‚ Freedom Front Plus‚ African Christian Democratic Party‚ Congress of the People‚ United Democratic Movement‚ National Freedom Party and Pan African Congress - “and we have taken the decision to boycott this afternoon’s sitting of Parliament‚ where President Zuma will deliver his reply speech in the Presidency’s budget vote”.“As representatives of the people of South Africa‚ we cannot in good conscience legitimise an empty speech of an utterly discredited and illegitimate President.” Will Zuma explain R45 million legal bill for taxpayers?President Jacob Zuma is expected to reply to opposition criticism on Thursday afternoon‚ on issues including the massive R45 million the Presidency has spent on legal fees in the last six years defending court action in the Constitutional Court‚ the Supreme Court of Appeal and various High Courts across the country.Following the Democratic Alliance’s victory in the North Gauteng High Court last week‚ the President once again faces very serious criminal charges for corruption‚ fraud‚ money laundering and racketeering. The court found that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Mr Zuma was irrational and thus set aside that previous decision.The court was explicitly clear when it stated: “It is thus our view that the envisaged prosecution against Mr Zuma was not tainted by the allegations against Mr McCarthy. Mr Zuma should face the charges as outlined in the indictment.”“Quite simply‚ the charges that were dropped by the NPA in 2009 are automatically reinstated and the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is now duty-bound to proceed with the prosecution.“This judgment is directly relevant to the budget of the Presidency because this budget has allowed the President to use public money to employ every delay tactic in the book - both legal and illegal - in order to avoid having his day in court‚” Mr Maimane said.The statement said the parties could not legitimise the budget giving the Presidency R505 million this year.“If President Zuma is innocent of the charges he now faces‚ why has he spent the last 8 years‚ 4 months and 7 days desperately fighting to avoid having his day in court? The answer is obvious — he is corrupt. He has plenty to be afraid of in that trial. For this reason‚ he will in all likelihood appeal Friday’s judgment‚ wasting even more taxpayers’ money.“Therefore‚ we cannot support any budget vote that legitimises such actions. We will not legitimise this afternoon’s sitting‚ and we will not legitimise this illegitimate President. He must go on trial and explain himself to the nation under cross examination‚” he said- TMG Digital/BDlive..

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