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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist


EFF MP Naledi Chirwa fined for failure to attend Parliament due to her sick baby

Chirwa said she was ordered by the EFF to purchase two gazebos before the end of March.


An Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP has been fined by the party after she failed to attend to her parliamentary duties and did not give the party a reason for her absence – that her newly-born child was sick.

On Monday, EFF MP Naledi Chirwa issued an apology on X after being fined by the party for not being in Parliament for the budget speech on 21 February.

Apology

Chirwa said her absence was due to her four-month-old daughter being ill. The MP said she had to go home to take care of her.

“I am regretful for failing to attend Parliament. My four-month-old daughter was sick and so I went home. My daughter is currently with my mother until post-election. This is to allow me the opportunity to be completely engaged in organisational work during this period and to form part of the collective that will usher [in] an EFF government post May 29,” said the MP.

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Chirwa said she should have reported her absence to the designated whip in their caucus in Parliament, rather than to the organisation.

She also clarified that though she was at home, she was still working online on the day.

“I attended the PC for Higher Education in Parliament on the virtual platform on the same day, and contributed to the business of the day,” said the new mother.

However, she said she was unable to attend the budget speech digitally, which would have allowed her to participate from home.

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Commitment, valid reasons and fines

Chirwa’s apology follows EFF leader Julius Malema’s commitment to instilling accountability from MPs who failed to attend the impeachment vote of Western Cape judge president John Hlophe on 21 February.

As part of her public apology, Chirwa said she was ordered by the EFF to purchase two gazebos before the end of March.

According to the EFF’s official Facebook page, each gazebo costs R5 000.

Furthermore, Chirwa emphasised her loyalty and devotion to the EFF.

“I do not doubt my commitment to the movement of the people and the responsibility we have been entrusted with in the Parliament of South Africa.

“This is the primary reason why I went on maternity leave a day before I gave birth and returned two months prior to the lapse of my maternity leave,” said Chirwa.

The Citizen reached out to the EFF and comment will be added once received.

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Reactions

The MP’s public apology was met with mixed emotions on social media, with some people saying the punishment is drastic and others accepting the apology. See some of the reactions below: