‘Irrational’ EFF threats worry DA

Johannesburg - The DA in Gauteng expressed concern over comments made during a provincial legislature sitting by EFF members on Tuesday.

The Democratic Alliance claims an Economic Freedom Fighters member said: “Our country will go up in flames should the EFF be removed from the House.”

A view of the Gauteng legislature. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/The Star. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Gauteng speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered EFF members to leave because of the “inappropriate attire” they wore for the sitting.

“The fiasco caused in today's sitting by the EFF, dressed in red overalls, is in contravention of the House rules of the legislature. It was nothing less than cheap politics,” DA legislature spokesman John Moodey said.

Moodey cautioned the threats were not to be taken lightly.

“Such a statement would not be made by a rational person,” Moodey said.

The DA backed the legislature's decision to “uphold the integrity and decorum of the House”.

The EFF alleged Gauteng police assaulted two of its members when they were forcefully removed from the legislature chamber after refusing to obey Mekgwe's ruling.

“Our leader Benjamin Disolwane was manhandled and handcuffed incorrectly by the police, as a result he was injured and is waiting for the ambulance,” legislature spokeswoman Omphile Maotwe said earlier.

Another member Mgcini Faku was taken to a doctor for “urgent” medical attention.

Gauteng police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said he would respond to the allegations only once a case had been opened.

The Times Live reported that Mekgwe said the EFF's red overalls were deemed inappropriate because they had the word “Asijiki” (we will not turn back), which she said was party insignia, inscribed on the back.

According to the report the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance members of the legislature left the chamber, but the EFF remained seated, adamant they would not leave.

Television monitors showing what was happening in the chambers were switched off and the public and media galleries were emptied.

The legislature would hold a media briefing later on Tuesday afternoon to address the matter.