Ramaphosa: Opposition parties need to show respect

Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted the relationship between the executive and Parliament has become strained.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the relationship between the executive and Parliament has become strained and needs to improve significantly.

Ramaphosa clashed with opposition parties this afternoon after they demanded that President Jacob Zuma address the National Assembly.

He said the Presidency is prepared to meet with the opposition but they must show respect.

"If leaders of political parties are going to be insulting, disrespectful and aren't going to recognise the position that he and other leaders hold, it makes it very difficult for that type of meeting to take place."

The president hasn't been seen in Parliament since being shouted down by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in August.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had to ajourn the sitting of the house.

This afternoon, the Democratic Alliance's Parliamentary Mmusi Maimane leader pushed Ramaphosa on when Zuma will appear there again.

"I think we can agree that as leaders of government business, that in fact it's fine if the president wants to go to the National Council of Provinces, but he must come here for accountability because this is where he must account."

Maimane also clashed with Mbete. He argued that he's written to the president's office on numerous occasions to find out when Zuma will be back to answer questions.

EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu also tried to address the house on the issue and criticised Mbete, saying she shouldn't drop the issue.

The deputy president fired back saying Zuma will address the National Council of Provinces tomorrow.

He said the conduct of EFF MPs is what forced the president to leave the house in the first place.

"When he appeared here, members of this house prevented the president from answering all questions so what do you want?"

At the same time, EFF leader Julius Malema and 19 fellow EFF MPs have been found guilty as charged by Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee.

The 20 EFF MPs received letters today informing them they've been found guilty.

The MPs face charges of defying the speaker and obstructing Parliament's proceedings after chanting "pay back the money" and refusing to leave the National Assembly chamber.