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Zuma warns Mbete to 'get her House in order'

In his response to yesterday’s chaotic session, Zuma warned MPs to bring the House to order.

National Assembly Speaker Beleka Mbete in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma this afternoon told National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to get her House in order.

He says he gets asked embarrassing questions about the conduct of Members of Parliament (MPs), when he travels outside the country and in rural areas within the country.

Zuma says the House should realise the example they are setting.

"I think it would be very important that you seriously bring this house into some order - for the dignity of the country."

Eight opposition MPs boycotted this afternoon's proceedings.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said he consulted the Economic Freedom Fighters, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People, United Democratic Movement, National Freedom Party, Pan African Congress and together the parties decided to stay away, to show they're not legitimising a man they regard as an illegitimate president.

The President has lashed out at opposition parties that don't show respect in parliament, saying the "daily dramatics" in the house will not lead the country forward, but rather set a bad example.

Zuma this afternoon replied to the presidency's budget vote debate.

Most of the opposition benches were empty after the eight parties decided to boycott today's proceedings.

In a statement earlier, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said they could not, in good conscience, legitimise an empty speech of a discredited and illegitimate president.

He says he can't respect those who do not act with respect.

"If your members have no respect, it's going to be difficult to respect them or their contributions. We all have rights and the rights should be respected. As we respect their rights as well."

He says people across the continent have questioned him about the chaos in Parliament and has warned Members of Parliament to bring the house to order.

ANC CALLS BOYCOTT 'LAUGHABLE GIMMICK'

Yesterday, around 15 EFF MPs were ejected from the chamber by security yesterday after they refused to let Zuma address the House.

As a result, the red berets have been suspended from Parliament for five working days.

WATCH: EFF chucked from Parliament after denying President Zuma chance to speak

Maimane says his party refused to sit through the president's response.

"On day one we wanted to put our message across to President Jacob Zuma that we would [not] be attending today. All that's happening today is that we will be listening to a president who has violated the Constitution."

But ANC spokesperson Moloto Mothapo has accused opposition politicians who boycotted today's sitting of contradicting themselves because many of them participated the day before.

"This boycott is a laughable publicity gimmick and a self-contradictory exercise."

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