Mantashe wants Parliament to protect Zuma & Ramaphosa - report

ANC's Gwede Mantashe is reportedly calling on Parliament to protect President Jacob Zuma and his deputy.

FILE: ANC's Gwede Mantashe is reportedly calling on Parliament to protect President Jacob Zuma and his deputy. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The apparent humiliation of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the National Assembly has raised the ire of senior ANC leaders with Secretary General Gwede Mantashe reportedly calling on Parliament to protect Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu were asked to leave the House last week after saying Ramaphosa had blood on his hands for Marikana.

The incident has been discussed at the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting underway in Centurion.

The Sunday Times is reporting that Mantashe has called on Parliament to protect Zuma and his deputy from what he says is humiliation by opposition parties.

Mantashe says the appears to be a plan to humiliate Zuma and Ramaphosa every time they appear before the National Assembly.

Though the ANC has not elaborated on what the protection should entail, Mantashe's statement has already been condemned by Cope's Dennis Bloom.

"Cope wants to condemn this immoral call of the ANC. [It's nothing but an attempt] to turn Parliament into a rubber stamp."

The newspaper further quotes Mantashe saying the protection will not result in avoiding accountability.

Meanwhile the leader of the opposition in Parliament Mmusi Maimane says it reflects the ANC's perception of the National Assembly.

"Well it's clear the ANC's long ago lost their respect for the Constitution and certainly for the institutions that uphold government. The rules that in fact insist the President must account for the people of South Africa, they ANC are trying to circumvent that."

RAMAPHOSA TO VISIT LESOTHO

Meanwhile the Deputy President looks set to return to Lesotho this week to stabilise the political situation following an attempted coup that's left Parliament in limbo and tensions high.

Fighting between the police and armed forces loyal to former commander Tlali Kamoli was last reported on Friday following a courtesy visit by Ramaphosa.

The Deputy President was appointed the SADC facilitator in Lesotho following a double troika summit with regional leaders last week.

Kamoli has since retreated to the mountains of the landlocked nation with his troops but Parliament has yet to be reconvened.

Ramaphosa's spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa explains the reason for his visit.

"He will be returning to Lesotho on Monday and Tuesday to assist the people of Lesotho. Critical in this regard is the issue of the reopening of Parliament, the brought forward elections and the security stabilisation."