Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

ANC: Antics by the EFF should be dealt with ‘harshly’

While the ANC has seemingly backtracked on its pronouncements that President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must be shielded from accounting to Parliament, it wants Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs dealt with “harshly”.  

In a press conference on Monday, following its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend, ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe was unequivocal that Parliament must crack the whip against the red berets who have a penchant for disrupting sittings of the house.

“If you are deviating from the rules, Parliament must be harsh,” he said. 

The three day meeting of the highest decision making body of the ANC appeared to have mulled at length on the EFF’s disruptive antics.

“All we want Parliament to do is enforce the rules of Parliament,” Mantashe said. 

Middle finger
Last Wednesday, EFF leaders were thrown out of Parliament for the second time. Leader Julius Malema and his Chief Whip Floyd Shivumbu were ordered to leave the National Assembly after accusing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of “murdering” 34 Marikana mineworkers. 

Shivumbu showed Ramaphosa the middle finger before being hauled out of the National Assembly. He later revoked the gesture. 

“What is robust about showing a middle finger to the deputy president?” Mantashe rhetorically asked at the press briefing.

Prior to this, the EFF caused mayhem in a parliamentary session where President Jacob Zuma was answering questions. “Pay back the money,” they chanted. 

“To this end the NEC noted the extent to which parliamentary processes have descended into chaos and the unruly offensive on the ANC in Parliament, Parliament itself and on democracy in our country,” Mantashe said. 

Parliament not a ‘battleground’
He said hooliganism and insults were at an unprecedented level, adding that Parliament could not become a “battleground”. 

“The decorum and dignity of Parliament as an institution is being dragged through the mud under the cover of the right to be robust,” Mantashe said. 

The Sunday Times had previously reported that the NEC wanted Parliament to protect President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa from “humiliation and embarrassment” from opposition parties.

Mantashe said the NEC had made the decision that Zuma and Ramaphosa should account to the people through imbizos in communities. 

“The more Parliament gets disrupted and the opportunity for answering questions is closed, there is less contact with our people.”

Mantashe insisted that launching the imbizo programme was not undermining democracy.

“The ANC has a revolutionary duty to defend itself, the revolution and democracy,” he said.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

Popularity will not guarantee mayoral selection — Ramaphosa

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a more rigorous mayoral selection process, which will involve the party’s top six

Nowhere to turn for abused bakery workers

After being chased away for asking for minimum wage, Gqeberha bakers who endured racism turned first to the CCMA, then to a political party, then to a union. None helped

Health director general suspended for alleged involvement in Digital Vibes...

After initially defending Sandile Buthelezi’s personal leave, the health department has announced that he has been placed on precautionary suspension

For many SA women, home is hell

Gender-based violence often takes place at home or in intimate relationships, taking a traumatic toll on victims, their families and friends
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×