The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Parliament says it will decide at an eleventh-hour caucus whether or not to raise issues surrounding President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Public Protector’s report into a donation his campaign received for the ANC presidency from Bosasa.
The president has until Friday to respond to the public protector about whether he lied to Parliament over the donation.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating whether Ramaphosa lied to MPs about the donation and whether he breached the executive ethics code.
Ramaphosa initially told parliamentarians the payments were made for consultation work done by his son Andile for the controversial facilities management company.
He later changed his tune, saying the money was, in fact, a donation to his ANC presidential bid. But that he had no hand in the acquiring of the donation.
The complaint was laid by Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, but his chief whip John Steenhuisen has said in the past that they would prefer the President to rather deal with the pressing issue of addressing the nation on his plan to create jobs and fix the economy.
But the EFF says it’s still not made up its mind whether it will confront the President in the chamber. “We are going to have a caucus now,” said EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.
“We’ll determine then if there are any issues to raise [in the National Assembly chamber]. I can’t preempt caucus,” he said.
The EFF has been known to disrupt the address in the past.
During the tenure of former president Jacob Zuma, parliamentary security had to be called in to remove MPs, who were ordered to leave by the presiding officers.
The National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise does not expect any disruptions though.
During a walkabout in the parliamentary precinct, Modise said she hopes MPs adhere to the rules of the joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, set to start at 7pm.
“We expect to start on time… We will make sure that order is maintained. That the rules are applied equally across the border. And if we don’t start on time. We’ll still start and we’ll still finish,” Modise told journalists.