ANC shrugs off EFF assault claims

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iol news pic EFF pay back the money INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The EFF demands answers from President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly. File picture: Jeffrey Abrahams

Cape Town - A claim that the ANC bussed a group to Parliament to assault EFF MPs was “laughable and desperate”, the governing party's Chief Whip Stone Sizani said on Wednesday.

“Such a claim can only be an invention of an overzealous imagination and an uncreative publicity strategy probably aimed at diverting attention from real acts of hooliganism that took place in Parliament 1/8last 3/8 Thursday,” he said in a statement.

“Mobilising supporters and MPs to cause chaos in the institution is a dirty modus operandi for which the EFF, not the ANC, is infamous and proud.”

The public gallery of the National Council of Provinces was packed with ANC supporters on Wednesday afternoon as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa answered questions in the House.

Sizani said for years the African National Congress had been encouraging the public to visit Parliament and observe proceedings.

“They have always done this peacefully.”

Earlier, Economic Freedom Fighters spokesman and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party had learnt the ANC was “mobilising hooligans” in the townships of Cape Town.

“The EFF has learned that they are loud-hailing across the townships, promising people free buses to go to Parliament and deal with the EFF,” he said in a statement.

Ndlozi said this was a “clear plan” to disrupt Parliament and render its work dysfunctional.

“It means the ANC is planning to undermine the very Parliament that it claims to protect and respect.”

Speaker Baleka Mbete on Tuesday said she was considering the suspension of EFF MPs after they disrupted President Jacob Zuma's question session in the National Assembly last week.

Last Thursday, in the most chaotic sitting of the post-apartheid legislature, they disrupted proceedings and chanted “pay back the money”, referring to state spending on Zuma's Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

Mbete adjourned the House for the day.


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