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Mass DA walkout after Zuma laughs off Q’s around the Guptas

Maimane told Zuma it’s clear that power now lies in Saxonwold and no longer in the Union Buildings.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has asked President Jacob Zuma directly whether the Gupta's have offered any Cabinet positions to individuals.

Zuma laughed at the question and then said all the ministers in the National Assembly have been appointed by him.

Maimane fired back, saying it was clear that power now lies in Saxonwold and no longer in the Union Buildings.

The president, however, ruled out any involvement by the Gupta brothers in the appointment of Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.

"Is the president willing to take accountability for the decision and resign in front of the people of South Africa?" Maimane asked.

Zuma responded, "I appointed Jonas as a deputy minister, that's what I offered him. I never offered him ministry and that is why he is a deputy minister. If he says he was offered by the Guptas I think you will be well placed to ask the Guptas or Jonas. Don't ask me, where do I come in?"

The president says he appoints ministers.

"I am in charge of the government. I am in charge. I appoint. In terms of the Constitution, there is no minister who is here who was ever appointed by the Guptas or by anybody else."

When asked about the new presidential jet, Zuma then said it was not his task to organise his jet.

He was responding to a question by the DA in Parliament regarding a proposal to buy a new jet after the presidential aircraft broke down in Burundi recently.

Despite the question not being on the official list, Zuma gave an answer.

"I'm not responsible to buy aircraft. That's not my task. There is a task of specific departments."

He was then asked about why he fired former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene - a move which sent the rand into a downward spiral.

Zuma told the National assembly the rand was already trouble at the time.

"The president has come here to tell South Africans that the rand was already in decline, which is not true," Maimane said.

Maimane was then ordered out by speaker Baleka Mbete after he insisted Zuma was not telling the truth about whether the Gupta family has been offering ministerial positions to individuals.

The entire DA caucus rose to exit with him, to jeers and gestures from African National Congress benches.

Before exiting, Maimane shouted, "You are protecting the Guptas".

WATCH: Maimane leaves Parliament.

Earlier this afternoon, Julius Malema's question for Zuma in the National Assembly was withdrawn.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) announced yesterday the party would not be participating in Zuma's question and answer session, saying it saw no value in doing so.

Parliament was issued an amended question paper, as Zuma prepared to face MPs barely 24 hours after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, confirmed that the Gupta family had offered him Treasury's top position.

Malema was set to ask the president whether he received any communication from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in connection with removing Sars commissioner Tom Moyane from his post.

That question was, however, scratched after the EFF decided it would be meaningless to ask Zuma anything, and more worthwhile to have the Gupta family answering questions.

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