EFF thrown out of parly committee after ‘physical threat’ to Gordhan

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were kicked out of the portfolio committee on public enterprises on Thursday, after approaching Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan — who was at the podium to deliver his budget vote — in a threatening manner.

Three EFF members of Parliament rose on a point of order adamant that Gordhan should not be allowed to address the meeting. EFF MP Sam Matiase and other party MPs then approached the podium in a manner suggesting a physical threat to Gordhan. He could be heard saying, “Don’t point fingers… they must touch me” as MPs from ANC and opposition benches rose to approach the podium in Gordhan’s defence.

The EFF has described Gordhan as a “constitutional delinquent” due to his handling of the reports by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane which found against him. However, earlier on Thursday, Gordhan told media at a briefing that he was perfectly within his legal rights to challenge Mkhwebane’s report in court. He lodged a stinging rebuttal in the high court on Wednesday in which he accused Mkhwebane of having an ulterior motive and the EFF of stoking the matter.

The EFF are employing the same strategy they used when dealing with former president Jacob Zuma, but the circumstances are decidedly different.

Zuma — who was raked over the coals for his handling of then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report — didn’t take it on review. He simply relied on his political weight in Parliament to exonerate him from paying back state funds used to upgrade his private residence at Nkandla.

The EFF took him to court over this and the Constitutional Court confirmed the powers of the Public Protector and ordered Zuma to pay back the money after a last minute concession by his legal team, two years after Madonsela released her report.

On Wednesday, Gordhan submitted his court papers in the review matter on Wednesday, arguing that Mkhwebane’s report was “malevolent”, “politically motivated” and flawed in fact and law.

After the incident, the minister said: “We are fighting to undo state capture and what you just witnessed was a defence of state capture through intimidation.”

Read Gordhan’s budget speech below:


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.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
Advertising

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday