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Johannesburg - A call by the DA for a parliamentary debate on President Jacob Zuma's private residence in Nkandla is frivolous, the office of ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said on Wednesday.
“The essence of a debate in Parliament is to enlighten the public with the information on the subject of debate, and provide guidance on the matter under contest,” his office said in a statement.
“It is unfortunate that the DA's interpretation and understanding of parliamentary debates seem to be inspired by a desire for grandstanding and politicking.”
On Sunday, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille led a delegation to Zuma's residence in KwaZulu-Natal, but was stopped by several hundred African National Congress supporters.
Police also refused permission for Zille to proceed along the road to the residence, citing safety reasons.
On Tuesday, opposition MPs discussed the issue in the National Assembly.
DA MP Debbie Schafer said the fact that ANC leaders did not condemn the actions of its members, who prevented Zille from inspecting Nkandla, was “shameful”.
“We know Helen Zille is scary, but what threat did she pose to the security of the president?” said Schafer.
Motshekga's office said Zuma and relevant ministers had “comprehensively” responded to questions on the R200 million upgrade to Zuma's home from opposition parties.
“There is nothing the debate would achieve that has not already been attained through the above-mentioned parliamentary oversight mechanisms.”
It said it was appalled at Zille's “obtrusive and completely opportunistic” visit to Nkandla.
“For all intents and purposes, the DA delegation's visit to Nkandla... was clearly a provocative act, intent on garnering publicity and an incitement of violence.
“Such acts are reminiscent of the apartheid-style way of reducing the humanity of black people to nothingness, and show its hand in the way the DA perceives the highest office of the land.” - Sapa