Zuma reprimands unruly MPs

The president was referring to a raucous debate during the Presidency's budget vote.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture:GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday gave Members of Parliament (MPs) a lecture on their conduct in the house.

He appealed to them to show respect for one another, even when they disagreed.

The president was referring to the raucous debate during the Presidency's budget vote in Cape Town on Wednesday.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Buti Manamela caused uproar in the National Assembly by likening Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to Adolf Hitler.

Manamela said the EFF was Malema's personal project to get political power at all costs.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli battled to keep the house under control as EFF MPs launched a barrage of objections.

On Tuesday, criminal charges were laid against the EFF for vandalism and trespassing after members and party leaders stormed the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

This comes after provincial speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered police to remove the party's members from the legislature due to slogans on their overalls, allegedly contravening house rules.

In a separate incident, two EFF MPs were kicked out of a heated debate on Wednesday when they refused to retract their statements which called the Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Groenewald a land thief.

Zuma says if MPs don't show respect for the rules of the house, they can't expect citizens to respect the laws made in Parliament.

This however did not stop the president from taking a swipe at the Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane.

He said the fact that Maimane was leading the opposition in Parliament was due to the freedom and democracy the ANC had fought for.