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Parties ‘disgusted’ by EFF’s behaviour

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Johannesburg - “Disgusting” was among the adjectives used by parties criticising the EFF's behaviour in the Gauteng legislature on Tuesday.

The African National Congress in Gauteng accused the Economic Freedom Fighters of undermining the Gauteng legislature.

“The ANC in the Gauteng provincial legislature... noted with disgust the unbecoming behaviour of the EFF members of the provincial legislature during the sitting of the House,” Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa said in a statement.

“The ANC emphasises that the members of the legislatures are expected to be the custodians of the democratic institutions like the legislature.”

EFF members were asked to leave the legislature for wearing red overalls with the word “Asijiki” (we will not go back) written on them.

The Times Live reported that Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe said the EFF's red overalls were deemed inappropriate because “Asijiki” was considered party insignia. The police removed the members from the House.

Hlongwa said the behaviour of EFF members contravened rule 31 of the legislature's standing rules. The rule deals with the appropriate dress code.

“Their refusal to leave the House as ordered by the speaker shows total disregard for the rule of law and their conduct necessitated the institution to enforce rules that govern the conduct of members during the sittings of the House,” he said.

The SA Communist Party called the EFF an organisation battling with infantile disorder and left-wing childishness.

“The SACP wishes to emphasise that the conduct of the EFF represents an extremely backward, lumpen and chaotic tendency of anarchy with a mix of right-wing, populist and demagogic slant,” deputy provincial secretary Mpapa Kanyane said in a statement.

The Democratic Alliance expressed concern over comments made during the sitting.

The party claimed an EFF member said: “Our country will go up in flames should the EFF be removed from the House.

“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,” EFF legislature spokeswoman Omphile Maotwe said.

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

Sapa


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