Political parties in Parliament have condemned the threats made by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to disrupt this week’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday. They say the country cannot be held to ransom by one party.
The parties say they want to hear what President Cyril Ramaphosa has to say.
EFF leader, Julius Malema has vowed to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech if Public Enterprise minister, Pravin Gordhan, is still in his position. The party says that Gordhan had misled Ramaphosa about the state of affairs at Eskom.
“We are going to demand that Pravin must go and we are going to demand that in parliament and we are going to have mass actions on Pravin starting 13 February in parliament. When Cyril starts, we start. That’s how it’s going to roll, when he starts speaking we start also about Pravin going. We are not going to be hold here by Pravin. It must come to an end,” says Julius Malema.
Political parties in Parliament have condemned the threats.
FF+ Chief Whip Corne Mulder says “Parliament cannot be allowed itself to be blackmailed by irrational teenagers. Because as far as we are concerned, the EFF is desperate for attention. The Speaker must just implement rules and kick them out of the House if necessary.”
And these sentiments are echoed by other parties, like the DA, the ACDP, and the IFP.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has noted the threats, saying they will not engage in disruptive processes. The party says to respond appropriately to the SONA, they have to hear what it’s all about.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) also rejects the threat to disrupt, saying SA wants to hear solutions from President on poor state of economy, SOEs and crime rate. Questioning why EFF so besotted with Gordhan, ACDP is not perfect but has been bulwark against corruption and state capture maybe that is why he is targeted.
The Democratic Alliance says it regards SONA as very important, and where they can hold the President accountable. Everybody can have peaceful protest but no one has right to take away voice of 400 MPs as representatives of the people that is unacceptable, the DA added.
Meanwhile, the FW de Klerk Foundation is yet to respond to the swipe Malema took against former President de Klerk. Malema called on de Klerk to not attend Thursday’s event.
This year, the acting Sergeant at Arms, Tebelo Maleme, will be in the hot seat in the National Assembly, in the event of any disruption. The role of the Sergeant at Arms is a ceremonial one, responsible for maintaining order in the House.