Follow us on:   

No to Obama’s address to SA parliament
June 7, 2013, 11:38 am

[Getty Images]

President Obama will be on a week-long visit to the African continent from June 26 [Getty Images]

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has rejected a request for US President Barack Obama to address both houses of Parliament when he visits South Africa later this month, the party disclosed on Friday.

The request was put forward by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and chairman of the National Council of Provinces Mninwa Mahlangu.

The DA requested that the two houses of Parliament convene a special joint-sitting to allow President Obama to address lawmakers on his official visit.

The ANC described the DA request as nothing but “a cynical publicity stunt”.

The request is “logically flawed,” ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said.

“It is important to note that in terms of international protocols, Parliament cannot invite a foreign head of state to address it. President Obama is visiting this country as the guest of the South African government, and not as a guest of Parliament, ” Motshekga said.

Obama will be on week-long visit to the African countries of Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania from June 26, his first to Africa in his second term.

The addressing of joint sittings of Parliament occurs only as a result of a joint arrangement between the host head of state and their visiting counterpart, said Motshekga.

According to a statement issued earlier by the White House Obama “will reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade, strengthening democratic institutions, and investing in the next generation of African leaders.”

Source: Agencies