On Wednesday, Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota stunned the National Assembly when he waited for President Cyril Ramaphosa to return to the chamber before he addressed the house, and then received a standing ovation from opposition MPs for accusing him of being a “sellout”. Shortly before Lekota took to the podium during the second day of the debate on the state of the nation address‚ Ramaphosa briefly stepped out of the house. Lekota, in an unprecedented move, refused to speak until the president returned. “Madam speaker‚ shouldn’t I wait for the president‚” he said‚ to which presiding officer Thandi Modise said: “No, honourable Lekota‚ please proceed now, you’re wasting your time‚ please proceed.” “The president addressed me when he was here on the podium [last Thursday]. I want the president because I want to answer some of the things he said to me‚ he called me by name‚” replied Lekota.

But Modise chastised Lekota‚ pointing out that he had been aware since 1994 that presidents an...

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