North West Premier, Job Mokgoro, has apologised for the chaos that erupted last week Friday during his State of the Province Address (Sopa) in Mahikeng. During his address, both the EFF and Democratic Alliance (DA) members of the provincial legislature, staged a walked out.
The DA questioned his legitimacy as premier, arguing that since the national government placed the province under administration, he has been stripped off his powers.
Following disruptions, the Legislature Speaker instructed the legislature’s security personnel to remove some EFF members from the house. Subsequent to that, some members were allegedly assaulted outside.
In the video below, North West Legislature Speaker explains decision to kick out EFF during Sopa:
Mokgoro says what happened was an embarrassing moment for all the people of the province and the country.
“Honourable members, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the people of the North West … to apologise to the people of the North West and country for our conduct and behaviour last Friday. This is not who we are nor what our legislature is and most importantly, this is not what our hard-won democracy is all about.”
Responding to the argument about his administration’s legitimacy, Mokgoro said, “The premier and the MEC’s remain members of EXCO and continue to exercise powers in terms of section 125 of the constitution. Neither the principle MOA nor the implementation protocol suggests that the national executive has assume powers of the premier to present the SOPA.”
However, both the Democratic Alliance and EFF in the province have rejected Mokgoro’s apology.
“We are not accepting the apology because firstly the premier was supposed to know better (that) he was not supposed to unleash the security on members and ordinary members, who are coming to listen to what members are debating … about issues of service delivery. Therefore, we do not accept his apology,” says DA Caucus Leader, Winston Rabotapi.
EFF leader in the province, Shakes Botswe, could not agree more with Rabotapi.
“We are rejecting this apology. Assault warrants dismissal. Now, our members were assaulted by the security of this provincial legislature. None of them are suspended. All of them are here today.”
Meanwhile, both the DA and EFF say they intend to legally challenge Mokgoro’s legitimacy to hold office.