Facing potential sanctions for misbehaving in Parliament, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have remained defiant saying the rules do nothing but protect corrupt politicians.
It all stems back to an issue from the week before when the EFF, led by Julius Malema, interrupted Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s department budget speech.
They were unrelenting and were eventually removed from Parliament so Gordhan could continue, leading opposition parties to call for sanctions to the party and new rules against unparliamentary conduct.
Inkatha Freedom Party
“In other words, incidents like that which occured during the public enterprises budget vote must be investigated fully and be followed by harsh consequences,” Inkatha Freedom Party member of Parliament Narend Singh said.
Freedom Front Plus
“If they misbehave, we deduct from their salaries until they cannot pay their Gucci accounts and they cannot pay their expensive German vehicles,” said Freedom Front Plus chief whip Corne Mulder.
“Stopping somebody from speaking in this house is not a debate, neither is it an act of accountability, it is an act of thuggery and democratic sabotage which should never ever be tolerated,” added Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen.
“Let me be clear, the scenes we witnessed last week were not democracy in action, no matter how hard the EFF try to cloak them as such. They were the very antithesis of what this house means and what it represents.”
However, the EFF has stuck to their guns. They claim their actions were in defence of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
A few days prior to the Gordhan protest, she suggested President Cyril Ramaphosa punish the Public Enterprises Minister for violating the Executive Code of Ethics within 30 days.
“Your rules are made to make sure that this place, these people who steal money, who defy courts come here and have business as usual so we defy them in protest to show them they are not untouchable and we make no apology about that,” EFF member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
“Never show contempt to the Public Protector. It doesn’t matter who holds that office – it doesn’t matter the incumbent – protect and respect chapter 9 institutions or else you are going to be met with protest here and we are ready for anything. The army, your hooligans that you call security, we are ready for all of them.”
(Source: The South African)