The EFF is eagerly awaiting a decision by the Western Cape High Court over its bid to force Parliament to allow its senior leaders, including leader, Julius Malema, deputy president Floyd Shivambu, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Marshall Dlamini, to attend the gathering.
This comes after the Western Cape High Court last month struck off the roll, with costs, the party’s application to suspend disciplinary sanctions against Malema and five other EFF leaders following their acts of disruption at last year’s State of the Nation address (Sona).
The EFF leaders were slapped with a suspension sanction without pay for February which coincides with Ramaphosa’s seventh address.
The members were found guilty after they stormed the Sona stage during Ramaphosa’s address in 2023.
Last week, before Ramaphosa’s seventh Sona address, the party said the court’s decision was proof there were efforts to silence those who were trying to hold Ramaphosa accountable.
On Tuesday, the EFF argued on an urgent basis that the senior leaders be allowed to attend the Sona on Thursday, It said the decision by the National Assembly to adopt a report suspending them in February should be set aside as it denied its more than a million voters the right to be represented during Sona.
Last week, Parliament said it welcomed the Western Cape High Court's decision to strike the EFF’s application off the roll.
“We concur with the majority judgement that the responsibility lies with the applicant, in this case, the EFF, to ensure that they adhere to court rules and have a well-prepared case that is ripe for hearing. The EFF’s imposed unreasonable time-frames and their filing on midnight before the next court day not only inconvenienced Parliament and the court but also indicated their lack of readiness for their application to be heard,” Parliament said.
The EFF’s application was dismissed with costs, The suspension of the six EFF members was made effective from February 1 to 29.
Last year, Parliament introduced new rules through the Powers and Privileges Committee which seeks to outlaw disruptions in Parliament.
The new rules for joint sittings of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces have banned repeated points of order and disruptions in the National Assembly.
The new rules were adopted with a vote of 297 for and 23 EFF MPs against on December 6.
The court is expected to deliver its judgment on Thursday, before Ramaphosa delivers his address.
This week, Parliament’s legal adviser Zuraya Adhikarie said in the court papers that the sanction to suspend the EFF MPs could not be allowed to drag on and must be implemented promptly as the term was about to come to an end.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo told Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday that the EFF members were to blame for their situation.
“You will remember that this has origins in their own conduct during the 2023 Sona. where they stomped the podium where the president was delivering his address and where they did not heed the instructions of the presiding Speaker,” he said.