Opposition parties boycott Zuma's reply to budget vote debate

Opposition parties boycott Zuma's reply to budget vote debate

President Jacob Zuma spoke to empty opposition benches on Thursday as he delivered the reply to his office’s budget vote debate in the National Assembly, a day after his opening address was drowned out by opposition protest.

Jacob Zuma in Parliament_gallo
File photo: Gallo Images

The Democratic Alliance made good on a threat to boycott the event after party leader Mmusi Maimane irked the ANC on Wednesday with a speech in the debate in which he repeatedly branded the president a thief.

The Economic Freedom Fighters were serving an automatic suspension from Parliament after they were thrown out of the National Assembly on Wednesday for trying to prevent Zuma from speaking.

In a statement, the DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he consulted with the EFF, FF+, ACDP, Cope, UDM, NFP and PAC and they made the decision to boycott the sitting of Parliament.

"As representatives of the people of South Africa, we cannot in good conscience legitimise an empty speech of an utterly discredited and illegitimate President," Maimane said.

Zuma began his reply on Thursday by stating that South Africa was a unique country and that the shadow cast by apartheid was receding gradually.

“Despair has been replaced by hope, deprivation by opportunity,” he said. 

Show's Stories