President Jacob Zuma came under fresh attack in the National Assembly‚ with the DA’s Mmusi Maimane calling him “President Gupta” in a debate that was marred by insults from ANC and DA benches.
Mmusi Maimane led the charge‚ saying Zuma was a corrupt leader who had prioritised nobody but the controversial Gupta family that is at the centre of the state capture claims.
But order quickly returned to the house when Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ who is the front-runner in the ANC race to replace Zuma‚ took to the podium with all sections of the horseshoe chamber attentively listening to him.
Zuma had earlier been heckled by DA MPs as he presented his budget vote for 2017-18.
Maimane fired a broadside at ANC MPs and the broader leadership of the party‚ saying they had failed to recall Zuma from office at every given opportunity in the last seven years through motions of no confidence and various court rulings against him.
But Maimane was ordered to withdraw the “President Gupta” remark following protests from ANC backbenchers.
This led to a heated exchange between DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.
IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi mocked Zuma and the ANC after defeating them at a crucial by-election in Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal last week.
Opposition MPs clapped as Ramaphosa walked over to the podium‚ with the IFP’s Liezl van der Merwe shouting to ANC MPs “you must listen‚ the president is speaking”.
But both Zuma and Ramaphosa received separate standing ovations from ANC MPs at the end of their speeches that focused largely on the achievements of government.