ANC accuses DA of 'cheap politics'

Presiding officers turned down the DA’s request for US President Barack Obama to address Parliament.

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s request for United States (US) President Barack Obama to address a joint sitting of Parliament has been described as a publicity stunt by ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga's office.

Parliament's presiding officers turned down the request, saying it was President Jacob Zuma's prerogative to invite Obama to address the National Assembly.

Obama and his wife Michelle will visit South Africa as part of their three-country Africa tour in June/July.

The ANC's Moloto Mothapo said, "We know that the DA is only doing this for cheap political scoring."

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said she was not giving up and would write to Zuma to urge him to request the joint sitting.

"President [Nelson] Mandela did it when he invited President Bill Clinton to come and address Parliament. I think given that the president is hosting this visit, this is the prime opportunity for him to do so."

The incident comes after the Western Cape ANC called on the Obamas not to accept the City of Cape Town's Freedom of the City Award.

The party accused the DA of not following proper procedures when dealing with the matter.