'The ANC is in crisis'

Mmusi Maimane says the National Assembly is not in crisis but it is the ruling party that is in crisis.

FILE: DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane challenges Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during a question and answer session in Parliament on 19 November 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament, Mmusi Maimane, has denied that the National Assembly is in crisis and claims Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa misrepresented an accord aimed to bring stability to the debates.

Ramaphosa intervened in Parliament last week after riot police were called in which led to fist fights with opposition Members of Parliament (MPs).

The deputy president was heckled during his question and answer session after reaching the agreement with chief whips of the different parties and said the truce had been broken.

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.

In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report and found the president 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.

Maimane says it is the ANC that is in crisis and claims his party is fighting for the survival of democracy.

"It's not Parliament that is in crisis but it's the ANC that is in crisis. They are in crisis because our constitution says there must be a separation of powers but the ultimate point of dishonour is the separation of power between Parliament and Luthuli House."

Last week DA leader Helen Zille said the ruling party is destroying democracy by protecting Zuma and his corrupt activities.

Opposition party MPs protested in front of the National Assembly 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.