Cape Town - The EFF maintains that the ANC organised “hooligans” to attack its MPs outside Parliament despite the ANC chief whip denying this, the party said on Wednesday.
“When the EFF released a statement this morning, the ANC, through its Chief Whip's Office, said the EFF is 'imagining things, and this is a figment of their imagination,” said spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
“Yet later today members of the ANC were reportedly singing “shoot Malema” in scores outside parliament demanding to be allowed into the chambers.”
African National Congress Chief Whip Stone Sizani earlier said claims that the ANC bussed a group to Parliament to assault EFF MPs was “laughable and desperate”.
“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.”
The City Press reported that about 200 ANC members chanting “Dubula uMalema” (shoot Malema) arrived in Parliament claiming they were there to defend the ANC from the EFF and its leader Julius Malema.
Supporters sang struggle songs, warning Malema and the EFF not to try and disrupt the House in the way they did when President Jacob Zuma answered questions last week.
“We are here to defend democracy and this Parliament. We can’t, when we have struggled so much, allow hooligans and criminals like Malema and his EFF to undermine our party. We will never allow that,” the paper quoted one protester.
Earlier 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.
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.”
Ndlozi said members had to be escorted and guarded by police all the time in case “they 1/8ANC 3/8 unleashed the planned hooliganism or disruption against members of parliament.
He said the ANC had to live with the reality that the EFF was in parliament both by law and popular will.
“Organising the police, military or any hooligans to deal with us will not work. They must come face us themselves in the benches of parliament through robust discourse. They must stop protecting the executive, avoiding accountability and running away from questions and hiding behind hooligans,” he said.