'ANC destroying democracy by protecting Zuma'

The DA says it's unacceptable that Zuma has not appeared in the chamber since August.

DA leader Helen Zille and the party's Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane lead a protest by party members outside the National Assembly on 20 November 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille says the African National Congress (ANC) is destroying democracy by protecting President Jacob Zuma and his corrupt activities.

Opposition party Members of Parliament (MPs) protested in front of the National Assembly earlier today, complaining about the increasing number of unanswered questions in the house.

The DA says it's unacceptable that Zuma has not appeared in the chamber since August, when he was heckled by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

DA MPs carried posters asking, "What about Nkandla?", "What about the Russian nuclear deal?" and "What about Tshabalala's qualifications?"

They say Zuma must fulfil his Parliamentary responsibilities by returning to the National Assembly rather than sending Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zille and DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane have a booklet containing questions which they plan to hand to Zuma and his executive.

The DA leader said Nkandla is only the tip of the iceberg.

In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report and found that Zuma and his family "unduly benefited" from the upgrades at his KwaZulu-Natal home.

But earlier this month, the Nkandla ad-hoc committee officially absolved the president of any wrongdoing in relation to the massive overspending.

A scuffle erupted on 13 November when fully armed public order police entered the house late on Thursday night during a heated sitting.

Tempers flared when African National Congress (ANC) MPs objected to motions brought by the opposition in an attempt to delay the tabling of a report on upgrades to the President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home.

Leaders from 11 opposition parties met with Deputy President Cyrial Ramaphosa to initiate crisis talks at Tuynhuys on Tuesday.

The talks were aimed at putting Parliament back on track.

Ramaphosa announced he would chair a multi-party committee comprising National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and all parties to find solutions to tensions that have brought Parliament to near breaking point.

Parties agreed to abide by the rules and Ramaphosa agreed that the same should apply to presiding officers, Zuma and his Cabinet ministers.

But the deal lies in tatters barely 24 hours after it was sealed.

Last night, the ANC blamed the DA for the unravelling of a deal forged by Ramaphosa with opposition parties, which gave the EFF a temporary reprieve from any disciplinary action.

But the DA hit back saying there was never any such agreement and that it's all about getting Ramaphosa off the hook from angry MPs in his own party.

The DA claims ANC hardliners were infuriated by the deal.