ANC: EFF must be charged for ‘disgraceful actions’ in Parliament

The battle lines in South Africa’s politics have been drawn afresh after security guards forcibly removed members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party when they tried to prevent an address by President Jacob Zuma in parliament.

About 20 EFF members, who were wrestled from their seats by plain-clothed guards on Tuesday, refused to let Zuma speak and shouted down Baleka Mbete, the speaker of the National Assembly.

The EFF argued that Zuma was not fit to address the house after recent court decisions against the president before adding that they would repeat their disruptive actions until he resigned.

“These bouncers must know that if they give violence, we will respond with violence. We are not scared,” Julius Malema, the EFF leader, said outside parliament.

“Zuma will never find peace in this parliament. Every time he comes here the same thing will happen.”

Al Jazeera’s Tania Page, reporting from Johannesburg, quoted the EFF as saying “it is simply doing what its voters wanted it to do: Holding the president and parliament to account”.

As Zuma looked on impassively inside the parliament building, the EFF politicians – dressed in their uniform of red workers’ overalls – fought to try to remain in the chamber until they were physically removed through a side door.

He asked parties to behave with decorum in the assembly and deal with national problems.

“This house needs to do something about itself … I believe that there is a lot that we have to do in this country to fight poverty,” Zuma said. 

‘Disgraceful actions’
In a statement, the ruling party said it wanted the EFF to face charges for its “disgraceful actions” in the assembly.


The actions piled pressure on Zuma’s ruling African National Congress in advance of the local government elections in August where the party faces a tough challenge from rivals seeking to take advantage of his missteps.

In April, Zuma survived an impeachment vote in parliament launched by the opposition after the constitutional court ruled he had ignored an order to repay state funds spent on his private home.

Later that month, the High Court overturned a previous decision seven years ago of dropping 783 corruption charges against Zuma when he was still the country’s deputy president. 

Concern over report
In a separate development  on Monday, South Africa’s rand hit a two-month low against the dollar and government bonds weakened after a report in the Beeld newspaper hinted that Pravin Gordhan, the Finance Minister, faced arrest.

The report raised concerns of a repeat of the run on the rand and bonds in December after Zuma changed finance ministers twice in a week.

The government strongly denied the report.

Beeld, citing several sources it said were close to Gordhan, reported that he was aware of the plans to arrest him and was unfazed.

South African news media quoted Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane as saying: “If finance minister Gordhan is arrested, that would be a profound threat to the economic stability of South Africa.” – Al Jazeera

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday