'Mbete shielded president from R4bn jet issue'

The DA wanted the president to address govt’s plans to splurge on a R4bn presidential jet.

President Jacob Zuma and Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has accused National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete of shielding the president from addressing government's plans to splurge on a

amp;ved=0ahUKEwjb3bibrp7JAhWFPxoKHQKeC-YQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fewn.co.za%2F2015%2F11%2F08%2FR4-billion-jet-on-the-cards-for-Zuma-report&usg=AFQjCNEqx6qUssYlVpekY7xl4MT81mbqcg">R4 billion presidential jet.

Last week, Maimane requested President Jacob Zuma use his final question and answer session for the year in Parliament to issue an executive statement about the purchase.

But Mbete would not allow it.

Zuma answered questions about university autonomy, the country's water crisis and also explained what he meant when he said the ANC came before the country.

The scandal around a new presidential jet was not on the agenda.

Despite Maimane's appeal, Mbete would not allow any change to the set programme.

"There are no shortcuts honourable Maimane, I have ruled."

ANC Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude supported Mbete's ruling.

"We are not going to allow the DA to grandstand in this Parliament."

Maimane says buying a new jet is not justified given the country's other pressing needs.