No suits and ties for EFF

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REUTERS

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was due to address the crowd shortly. File photo: Skyler Reid

Johannesburg - South Africa’s fifth Parliament is in for a rude awakening when overalls- and makarapa-clad new kids on the block the Economic Freedom Fighters are sworn in as members, Julius Malema has warned.

The EFF leader said the party had already worked out its first order of business when Parliament comes into session, from challenging certain regulations, starting with the dress code, to tabling various motions that will deal with land and expropriation without compensation.

Malema seemed to live up to his dress code threat when he rocked up at the IEC results centre for the final results announcement in Pretoria on Saturday wearing a red overall, despite a formal dress code.

“They will no longer be sleeping in Parliament because everybody will be awake ready to receive what the Economic Freedom Fighters are ready to say. We are not going to comply with unjust regulations and laws in Parliament.

“An unjust law is not law at all. And that is starting with the dress code. Why should people be refused to enter Parliament in overalls and be restricted to suits and ties?

“And if the weather allows, we are going to wear makarapa (hard hats),” said Malema.

He said some people in Parliament were “hiding their stupidity behind ties”.

“We don’t want that,” added Malema.

But it won’t be that simple for Malema after Parliament’s multiparty whips forum in the previous Parliament, where all parties are represented, agreed and accepted in principle the ANC’s proposed code of “appropriate dress” whenever in Parliament.

“That Parliament was debating issues that are in the periphery and not real issues, and now we are going to table real issues in Parliament.

“We are not going to wear ties and suits, creating an impression that we are better than others,” said Malema.

He said the EFF should be congratulated for making history by being the only political organisation in Parliament and the country led by a 33-year-old.

“All of them (other parties) were led by old people. A party formed within eight months is among the top three. Even in the Olympics they announce the top three. We’ve got a bronze medal. So we are winners, we are taking something home,” said Malema.

He also didn’t rule out the possibility of playing kingmaker, using his party’s 6 percent of the votes and 25 seats in the National Assembly either to help the ANC to make constitutional changes or to help the opposition.

“The task is to get 1 million more supporters every eight months, that’s how we are going to emerge victorious.

“We are not to be with anyone who doesn’t represent what we stand for. The ANC with us have a two-thirds majority.

“If they want to amend the constitution and put in a clear clause (on expropriation without compensation), they must not worry. Here is a two-thirds majority. And if the DA want to remove Zuma in a motion of no confidence, we will vote with them,” said Malema.

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