The Economic Freedom Fighters have ramped up threats to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation (Sona) speech if he does not fire Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
During interviews on the Parliamentary precinct hours before Ramaphosa is expected to step up to the daise to deliver his fourth Sona speech, parliament’s third-largest political party was drumming up anticipation for possible chaos in the National Assembly chamber.
“We will come to the House and do our work by demanding the president fire Pravin Gordhan because he is incompetent in running state-owned companies. So what is the point of keeping him? He has got no idea what he is doing. If he [Ramaphosa] was to take South Africans seriously, he must release him,” said EFF Secretary-General Marshall Dlamini.
Parliamentary officials say that while they are prepared for any disruptions, they don’t expect any interruption of the president’s speech.
In a joint statement, National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo said: “Open threats to disrupt the work of Parliament, including the propagation of conspiracy theories, are not in the interests of the public. They serve only as attempts to distract Parliament from its work.”
This was in response to the EFF claiming that there was a police plan to remove them from the chamber in the event of any disruptions.
Parliamentary rules state that only the parliamentary protection services may remove members of parliament from the National Assembly floor.
Dlamini said they will use the rules of parliament to make their grievances known, even if they are threatened with removal.
“It’s none of our business what the security services do. We are coming to do our work. Whatever happens, isn’t in our control. We won’t be threatened by any security services that we must not come do our work,” he said.