JZ783 reference sparks mudslinging match in Parliament

Parliament’s annual debate on the 16 days of activism campaign turned into a political mudslinging match after the DA walked out of the house on Tuesday‚ vowing to see Parliament in court — again.

Party MP and head of the DA women’s league Denise Robinson was ordered to withdraw a reference to President Jacob Zuma as JZ783. She however refused‚ saying the phrase was not derogatory‚ and was ordered by Speaker Baleka Mbete to leave the podium and the house.

Party chief whip John Steenhuisen attempted to defend her‚ but the party walked out. He told Mbete that her ruling had been wrong and the party would challenge it in court.

By the end of the sitting‚ the phrase JZ783 was trending on Twitter.

Before leaving the house‚ Robinson also said that former ANC youth league leader Patrick Wisani’s conviction for the murder of his girlfriend pointed to serious problems in the ruling party saying the fact that he attempted to use the fact that he was campaigning for elections in his bail hearing was problematic.

The EFF’s Hlengiwe Hlope meanwhile said there was no political will from the ANC to fight for women’s rights and that the party’s women’s league was “a disgrace” which was too busy fighting factional battles to fight for women.

The IFP’s Liesl van der Merwe said the “ANC (is) a morally corrupt ruling party overseeing a broken political system that failed the late Khewzi and many women like her. We honour Khewzi’s memory today. It is the same morally crooked ruling party who chased young female protesters who stood in her honour earlier this year at the IEC Centre. While this morally bankrupt ruling party now fights for its own survival‚ while focusing its efforts solely on protecting President Zuma‚ the critical issues affecting women and children will continue to take a back seat.”

EFF member Delisile Ngwenya meanwhile pointed to problematic examples in the ANC leadership citing Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman who was found guilty by the party for attempting to obtain sexual favours and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula who “insulted a woman he had sex with by calling her a one night stand“.

Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald however said it was “no use blaming political parties or the police or social workers” for violence against women and children‚ when it was up to the individual.

“If you have self respect‚ you will respect women and children‚” he said.

Minister Susan Shabangu said the ANC was the only party actively working towards legislation to protect women and children.

She said the party welcomed the sentence against Wisani saying the party “can’t tolerate any abuse“.


TMG Digital/Parliamentary Bureau



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