JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday vowed to stop opposition lawmakers, who had hounded him out of parliament, to disrupt the national assembly.
Zuma was in August forced to abandon his speech and leave parliament when lawmakers from the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party yelled “Pay back the money”.
The heckling came as Zuma was being grilled over the US$23 million (18 million euros) of taxpayers money spent on “security upgrades” at his private residence.
In November, the national assembly again descended into chaos ahead of a debate over the president’s palatial Nkandla country house in the southeast of the country.
But in an interview with the public broadcaster SABC on Sunday, Zuma said that these incidents would no longer be tolerated.
“That’s not going to be allowed,” he said. “It can’t happen, otherwise it will be chaos in this country.”
“We have a country, we have authority here, we have to do the governing of the country,” he said, without outlining the measures he plans to take.
Zuma is due to deliver his state of nation address to parliament on February 12 next year.
A report by South Africa’s public protector had called on Zuma to repay some of the millions spent on items such as a swimming pool, amphitheatre and cattle pen at his rural home in Nkandla.
Zuma said he had not violated any regulations.
“The president did absolutely nothing wrong in the Nkandla (case). Three reports have not found anything,” he said.
The country’s ombudsman concluded that Zuma and his family had unduly benefitted from the refurbishments.
“That’s not committing any crime. The president did nothing, the president did not ask any benefit from anyone,” he said.