President Jacob Zuma says he is asked very embarrassing questions about Parliament on his travels around Africa.
The president was addressing a mostly empty house during a budget vote debate on Thursday after most opposition parties agreed to abstain following an incident on Wednesday in which the Economic Freedom Fighters were thrown out of the Chamber for attempting to prevent Zuma from delivering his budget vote speech.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane meanwhile, accused Zuma of being a “thief”, stealing from the nation.
Zuma on Thursday called for Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly, to bring the house to order.
“I am happy that you were able to handle the House but commenting as somebody who from time to time comes to this House to participate I believe the house needs to do more to bring this house to order,” Zuma said.
“I go around Africa and people ask me very embarrassing questions about this Parliament.
“I thought you should know this, some are complaining particularly in this region that in the manner in which we behave in Parliament, we are changing the perceptions they have heard about us, that we are a leading example of the constitutional democracy. They are now saying you are influencing some of their people in a wrong way,” the president said.
In February, delivering his reply to the Sona debate, Zuma called for members to show better leadership to the country.
“All of us should always keep in mind that our being here is not to satisfy our own feelings, but it is to represent the people who elected us,” Zuma said.
“We are here on their behalf,” the president said.