If you’d been watching Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, taking questions in Parliament on Thursday, you would have been able to check all of these off on your sheet. The lines did not all go down smoothly with the gathered MPs, however.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, accused Ramaphosa of “deliberately misleading” the House by claiming that the ANC was a victim of its own success. Asked to withdraw the comment by Deputy Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, on the grounds that it was unparliamentary, Ndlozi would only withdraw the suggestion that the misleading was “deliberate”.
Ramaphosa brought out the “victim of success” phrase in response to what was without doubt the question of the day, from young Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament, Mkhuleko Hlengwa. Had the students not embarked on the #FeesMustFall protests, Hlengwa suggested, the issue of fees would not be on the government’s agenda, and the fees would not have been lowered. This is despite the fact that free education is part of the ANC’s manifesto. Hlengwa suggested that the government was now “scrambling around” for “knee-jerk solutions” to address the fee funding problem, “in the absence of plans”.