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Focus on real issues: ANC

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Members of Parliament should set aside their differences and focus on issues raised in the state-of-the-nation speech by President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress said on Tuesday.

“We make a special plea to all Members of Parliament across political divide to focus on the real issues raised in the state-of-the-nation address,” the party said in a statement.

Parliament was a platform where different political parties could change citizens’ lives through legislation to ensure accountability, the ANC said.

“Whatever our differences are, we must keep the interest of our country above everything we do.”

On Thursday night, Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete called security officers, including police, into the Chamber to remove Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his colleagues after they defied instructions to leave.

He had interrupted President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address to again demand that the president answer questions about the Nkandla controversy.

The ANC condemned the jamming of the cellphone signal during Zuma’s speech.

“This violated the Constitution. Equally, we condemn deliberate efforts to disrupt the state-of-the-nation address by some Members of Parliament, as this was meant to deny our people of their right to receive full account of government plans and commitments as presented by the president.”

Journalists protested in the press gallery on Thursday over the jamming of the signal, because they could not file their stories. SAPA

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