EFF to take legal action against Mapisa-Nqakula ‘dictatorship’ for booting them from Sona
Malema believes EFF members should also have received three warnings, like ATM leader Vuyo Zungula, before being ejected from parliament.
Julius Malema and other EFF members were removed from the SONA on Thursday night, after disrupting proceedings. Picture: AFP
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says the party will take legal action against National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, after its members were removed from parliament during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona.
EFF MPs were asked to leave the House after raising several points of order, delaying Ramaphosa’s Sona on Thursday evening.
Addressing MPs following the chaotic scenes, Malema alleged Mapisa-Nqakula violated “every book in the law and it has to be declared unconstitutional and unparliamentary”.
‘Welcome to dictatorship’
“A peaceful protest in SA is protected by the Constitution and cannot be a threat to Parliament so everything that happened today must be taken to court to be challenged,” said the EFF leader.
“As EFF members tried to peacefully demonstrate against an address by a Constitutional Delinquent, Cyril Ramaphosa, the army and thugs came into Parliament. Ramaphosa continues to disrespect our democracy! An army has no place in Parliament!
“Where have you ever seen an elite unit and counter-assault team entering parliament in uniform? Only that happens in dictatorship, where have you ever seen members of the media being prevented from speaking to members of parliament? Only in a dictatorship.
“The whole state has been collapsed in the protection of one man, but we can assure South Africa that we’ll never get tired, we’ll hold him accountable. If he thought he was going to sweep under the carpet the Phala Phala matter, load shedding, high levels of crime and GBV and unemployment in this country, we’re not going to allow that.”
“Parliament has degenerated, executive has degenerated, the judiciary has degenerated in protection of one man. Welcome to dictatorship, our country has turned against its own constitution. Police’s responsibility is outside parliament, inside parliament is the protection services that protect MPs, but what we saw today presidential protection team, the counter-assault team, on the stage, right inside parliament.
“On the corridor of parliament, I found uniformed police with a shield pushing us members of parliament, against the constitutional court ruling. We are now being policed inside parliament, by the people who are supposed to account to us.”
Rules only for EFF MPs
Malema claimed that while ATM leader Vuyo Zungula was warned three times before being ejected from parliament, the same courtesy was not extended to EFF MPs.
“The Speaker came prepared not to allow MPs exercise their democratic right. As a result, this matter will be taken to court, because there is a constitutional court ruling that said MPs must never be treated as a group, but as individuals.
“MPs also have to be called three times before they can be evicted. Some of us our names were called, and we were told to leave the House but we were not warned three times like they did with Zungula, which means there are rules which are under the carpet, they only get released when it is an EFF’s turn. That cannot be left unchallenged. What happened today has to be declared unconstitutional.”
Steenhuisen to the party
After EFF MPs were ejected from parliament, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen raised a concern that parliament’s protection services entered the House before Mapisa-Nqakula called them in.
“Prior to you issuing an instructions to the security services to enter the chamber, they were already into the chamber, armed with firearms. This matter has already been subject to litigation in the High Court of South Africa saying it was not permissible for member of the armed services to enter the chamber of parliament without your expressed permission. That was not the case and sequence of events.
“I’m not asking you to make a ruling now, I am asking you to examine the footage and to ensure in future the rules of parliament are upheld to make sure MPs are not intimidated by an uninvited armed insurgence of the security services into the chamber.”
But Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald disagreed with Steenhuisen.
He argued that the president was put under pressure after the EFF stormed on stage.
Mapisa-Nqakula said she would look into it, as she did not notice the security services entered the chambers before her orders.