President Jacob Zuma’s penchant for laughter in parliament as MPs try to question him about matters of national importance was challenged today by the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The MP asked the president why he was laughing when the nation demanded serious answers to matters ranging from the student protests for free tertiary education to government efforts to alleviate hardship being caused by the drought.

“This is not Trevor Noah’s show‚” he said.

“I don’t know how to stop my laughter‚” Zuma responded‚ “I will always laugh.”

Public reaction was swift‚ and negative.

Zuma is a father who laughs at his children while they are desperately looking upon him‚ expecting everything of the best #ZumaQandA”‚ Madiseng Caroline ‏@mcmadiseng tweeted. “The way he keeps laughing & acting you’ll say he’s high on some cheap stuff like nyoape. No he ain’t‚ that’s how foolish cowards roll #ZumaQandA‚” said Trinidad Gift ‏@Trinidad_Gift. Moratuwa ‏@Palesa_Illbliss posted: “I wanna be like Zuma. Laugh at the haters and ask them if it hurts”. The question and the president’s response also spawned a #ThingsZumaLaughsAt hashtag on the social media platform. Some of the tweets are:

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