This afternoon’s session convened by the Chief Justice in terms of the Constitution to elect the new president of the country got off to a chaotic start when EFF members insisted that they be allowed to “express” themselves on Jacob Zuma’s resignation and be allowed to submit a motion to dissolve Parliament.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, once allowed to kick off proceedings, explained that Section 86 of the constitution seeks to prevent a “lapse” in government once a sitting president has resigned.” Mogoeng assured the House he has seen the letter and duly signed by Zuma and read it out.
Speaker Baleka Mbete had to call members of the EFF to order when they came into the chamber singing before a moment of silence could be observed.
“I have received the resignation letter from the President Jacob Zuma. The letter will be published in the ATC. The house will proceed to elections of the new president of South Africa. The constitution requires Chief Justice to preside over the elections,” Mbete told MPs
“You are out of order, you setting up the Chief Justice for failure” Malema interjected Mbete who proceed to remind him that “Section 5 of the constitution permits any member to propose that Parliament be dissolved, but the motion must be duly processed by the House. It is not on the order paper. This matters are discussed in the programming committee. The Chief Justice has convened this session to nominate the news president.”
EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu refused to back down: “We are making a proposal that as political parties must express a statement as to what had happened [on the resignation of Jacob Zuma]. May we please be allowed to do that.”
Mbete asked why Shivambu failed to raise this matter in the programming committee. Malema responded that: “we don’t think we are in a correct position to elect a president. The constitutional court has pronounced this Parliament as illegitimate. When it is said we failed to hold Jacob Zuma accountable they meant all of us. We must dissolve this Parliament and go to elections.”
Threatening that she “will be challenged later”, an EFF member also took Mbete to task for not reading the letter out. She assured the House and DA Chief Whip John Steenhuizen that there will still be a debate and you can express yourself as broadly as possible”.
Before Mogoeng could be allowed to address Parliament, Malema and his EFF colleagues got into a spat with ANC MP Lindiwe Zulu with Malema telling Cyril Ramaphosa “If you listen to things like Lindiwe Zulu, you must ask the man who left.”
Zulu ojected to being called “illiterate”, with EFF Hlengiwe Maxon-Hlophe stating: “Thula Lindiwe, thula. Thula Ginger ikuhlulile ii-conference”
The election of the president continues.