‘EFF has a violent nature’

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eff aug 21 SAPA Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters stood their ground and refused to leave the National Assembly after being ordered to do so by Speaker Baleka Mbete. Photo: Sapa

Parliament - The ANC expressed outrage at the Economic Freedom Fighters' behaviour in Parliament on Thursday.

“We think it undermines the integrity, the aura and the decorum of the House,” spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.

“It is quite clear that the intentions of EFF is not to engage within the framework of promoting public accountability, but... to promote anarchy and general disrespect.”

Kodwa said the EFF had a “violent nature” which could take the country backwards.

“We warn them not to take us back to the past where we will have no option but to defend our hard-won democracy.”

EFF MPs refused to leave the National Assembly after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them out earlier on Thursday because they were “not serious” about proceedings. Long after being ordered out they were still sitting in their benches chanting and singing.

The party's MPs disrupted proceedings while President Jacob Zuma was answering questions.

EFF leader Julius Malema was not happy with Zuma's reply to a question about when he was going to repay part of the money spent on the R246 million security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended in her report on Nkandla, titled “Secure in Comfort”, that Zuma repay part of the money.

Mbete adjourned Parliament for the day shortly after 4pm, announcing Zuma would not complete presidential question time because of the EFF's protest.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said what happened in Parliament on Thursday was concerning.

“It compromises on the future of this country. I didn't think the EFF procedure was correct. There are rules of Parliament.”

However, he said Mbete had failed to let Malema get a response to his question and had failed to hold the executive to account.

“We want an urgent meeting with the Speaker to make sure this doesn't get repeated and that it gets sorted out properly.”

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said the day's events were a wake-up call for the ANC.

“Zuma has been dodging to answer questions all these years,” he told Sapa via SMS.

“They gave him his medicine. This arrogance of power must come to an end.” - Sapa



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