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'Parliament has descended into anarchy'

The ANC’s senior leadership says Parliament has become unable to fulfil its purpose to protect President Zuma.

FILE. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says Parliament should protect Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa from humiliation. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s senior leadership says Parliament has become unable to fulfill its purpose and it will therefore advise President Jacob Zuma to engage with the public on platforms such as imbizos.

The party's Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe told the public broadcaster that Parliament should protect Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa from humiliation and claims there is a concerted campaign by opposition parties to do this each time they appear.

Mantashe says Parliament has descended into anarchy.

"Our view is that the president and deputy president must use imbizos more, dealing directly with society in South Africa, instead of going to Parliament which doesn't serve the purpose it has been set up for."

But these comments have been condemned by the Democratic Alliance's leader in Parliament, Mmusi Maimane.

"What is vital is that speaker Baleka Mbete must show that she is not deployed there to in fact defend President Zuma, by insisting that he be held accountable. It's the job of Parliament. It's not the job of any imbizo or other structure."

Mantashe's comments follow an order by the national assembly speaker that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s Julius Malema leave the house for saying Ramaphosa has blood on his hands and killed striking mineworkers in Marikana.