Parliament – ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Wednesday warned Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his supporters that the fate of the right-wing Boeremag would soon be theirs.
Speaking during a debate on the Presidency budget vote, Mthembu likened the actions of EFF leader Julius Malema, who recently in a televised interview said that his party was prepared to remove the current government “through the barrel of a gun”, to those of the Boeremag, the right-wing group which plotted to overthrow the government.
Many of the group’s leaders are behind bars for, among others, setting of bombs in Soweto in 2002.
“We want to sound a stern warning to those who think they can tamper with our democratic dispensation and hard won peace and stability, we also want to sound a stern warning to those who think they can commit acts of sabotage and foment civil war that the Boeremag fate shall be theirs and prison shall be their home,” said Mthembu.
“Honourable Malema, when this happens don’t say we did not warn you. The choice is yours.”
Mthembu did not stop there, going on to attack Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, accusing him of presiding over a party of “self-declared racists”.
“I think honourable Maimane is being used by this verkrampte party, whose members still yearn for the days of P.W Botha and call black people monkeys, Maimane is being used as a bate to attract black votes,” he said.
Mthembu spoke direcly after Zuma, who took to the podium after a chaotic start to proceedings.
Zuma stuck to his speech, listing government’s achievements and its priorities over the next few years, and did not heed a call by opposition parties to respond to the the Constitutional Court outcome, and to last week’s North Gauteng High Court ruling which set aside the 2009 decision to drop 783 criminal charges against him.
The budget vote was overshadowed by opposition party MPs who continued to hurl insults at the President over these two court rulings. EFF MPs were physically removed from the House before Zuma even took to the podium.
The country’s third largest opposition party said it would never allow Zuma to address the National Assembly without disturbance.
“Parliament is the institution that must hold Jacob Zuma accountable and he has been found to have acted outside the law and Parliament is not doing anything about it,” EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said after all the MPs from the party were hustled out of the house.
“We will never allow to be addressed by a criminal, we will never allow to give money, a budget to a criminal who is just going to abuse that money for his own self enrichment and the promotion of his family… Jacob Zuma will never find peace in the presence of the EFF.”
Earlier, Speaker Baleka Mbete ruled the party’s members out of order and had asked them to sit down as they jumped up one after the other demanding Zuma be prevented from taking the podium.
“Leave the chamber, Honourable Ndlozi,” Mbete eventually said to EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Ndlozi shouted at Mbete: “Have I broken my oath of office? A person breaks the oath of office, you don’t order him to leave the House.”
Several other EFF MPs then tried to interject, but Mbete eventually called in parliamentary protection staff to physically remove the MPs.
The DA protested in different fashion. DA chief whip John Steenhuisen rose after Zuma concluded a lacklustre speech and said the president had “cocked a snook at this parliament” by smiling through a speech that failed to acknowledge the court rulings against him.
“The house is failing to hold this man to account, he’s a disgrace,” he said.
African News Agency
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