Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters claim to represent working class men and women yet looted their shops when they “stormed” the Gauteng provincial legislature, premier David Makhura said on Friday.
“I want to join the deputy speaker in condemning the incidents that happened on Tuesday, where members of the EFF stormed the legislature and caused extensive damage to state property,” he said in his budget speech.
“They have looted from the ordinary women and men selling food in the streets of Johannesburg. Yet they claim to represent ordinary working class men and women.”
Makhura said the EFF needed to decide whether it was part of a democratic institution or not.
“You cannot be a public representative and undermine the very democratic institutions you are meant to protect and respect,” he said.
“We look forward to the legislature taking strong action against this unacceptable conduct.”
On Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema led about 2 000 red-clad members to the legislature to protest over the ejection of their MPLs from a sitting because they wore red overalls bearing slogans.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse EFF supporters at the legislature on Tuesday evening. Stun grenades were thrown inside the foyer.
Several people, including Malema, were injured. Malema was hit by an object thrown from the crowd.
Makhura called on police to find those responsible for the death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris during a hijacking in Reiger Park, on the East Rand.
“Tomorrow (Saturday), we shall lay to rest our dear Taegrin Morris to support the family and the community of Reiger Park,” he said.
Morris died when he was caught in his seat belt and dragged alongside his parents' hijacked car in Boksburg on Saturday night.
Makhura said one of five priorities for his office would be strengthening the executive council system by re-introducing a cabinet cluster system.
“Three cabinet clusters have been established, namely governance and planning sector, economic sector, and social sector,” the premier said.
“Each will be chaired by an executive member supported by a technical committee.”
The second priority was strengthening planning, co-ordination and integration capacity, and the third improving performance monitoring and evaluation.
The fourth priority was advancing and protecting the rights of youth, women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and military veterans.
The fifth priority was improving the provincial government's communication with citizens.
“We believe there should be... better communication with broad sectors of our population, not only about our plans and programmes, but also how we can work together to implement our programmes,” he said.
“This is at heart of how we relate as government to the people.”
This would include broadening the use of new communication tools, particularly in social and community media.