Opposition parties want Zuma to account

The ANC confirmed Jacob Zuma will avoid taking direct questions.

President Jacob Zuma responding to Members of Parliament during the State of the Nation debate on 20 June 2014. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties have lashed out at President Jacob Zuma's refusal to take questions in Parliament at the next sitting of the house next week.

The African National Congress (ANC) has confirmed that the president will avoid taking direct questions due to dissatisfaction with the conduct some opposition Members of Parliament.

In August Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and other MPs were kicked out of the National Assembly after demanding that Zuma 'pay back the money' spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

The ANC has denied claims that it's protecting the president from being challenged.

The party's Zizi Kodwa says Zuma is not obliged to speak in front of an assembly that has become a circus.

"Parliament has descended into chaos so we can't allow the head of state to be part of that."

Meanwhile, opposition parties say the rules of Parliament dictate that the president answer to Parliament four times a year.

Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane says Zuma has only answered to the house once and owes it to the public to take account for his actions.

"He must account to the people of this country in Parliament and what the ruling party is doing is an act of throwing away what holds this country together."