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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


Sona spat: EFF tells judge to zip it

The party condemned comments by Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng regarding MPs who “sought to peacefully hold President Cyril Ramaphosa accountable".


Hot on the heels of Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Marshall Dlamini, Sinawo Tambo, Vuyani Pambo and Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi being found guilty of contempt of parliament, the EFF appears to have set its sights on the judge in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial. The party condemned comments by Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng regarding parliamentarians who “sought to peacefully hold President Cyril Ramaphosa accountable at the State of the Nation Address in February this year”. ALSO READ: EFF members, including Julius Malema, ordered to apologise for disrupting 2023 Sona The EFF hit back, saying the violence in parliament was solely on the…

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Hot on the heels of Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Marshall Dlamini, Sinawo Tambo, Vuyani Pambo and Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi being found guilty of contempt of parliament, the EFF appears to have set its sights on the judge in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.

The party condemned comments by Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng regarding parliamentarians who “sought to peacefully hold President Cyril Ramaphosa accountable at the State of the Nation Address in February this year”.

ALSO READ: EFF members, including Julius Malema, ordered to apologise for disrupting 2023 Sona

The EFF hit back, saying the violence in parliament was solely on the side of parliamentary security, members of the SA Police Service (Saps), Ramaphosa’s security detail and unidentifiable armed men who stormed the sitting and assaulted members.

They said Mokgoatlheng would do well to keep his political views to himself. The video footage of the incident, however, shows the EFF rose en masse and some made it onto the stage where Ramaphosa was waiting to carry on delivering his speech after numerous interventions from the party.

However, various security officials stopped them and bundled the party members out of the Cape Town City Hall, where parliament is currently sitting.

Within rights

Political analyst Piet Croucamp said it was within the EFF’s right to test that principle but added that courts have been reluctant to intervene in the activities of parliament.

“Parliament complies with its own rules. “If you want to question the rules of parliament as a separate issue and case, you can go to the Constitutional Court if you want to.

“If you accept the rules, as the EFF has apparently done, but you argue in this specific case you have not transgressed those rules, then you are free to go to court and the court can decide whether you comply with the rules or not,” he explained.

ALSO READ: Rugby, Julius Malema, and the battle over historical narratives

Croucamp emphasised that normally courts preferred not to interfere in political and administrative processes of legislatures unless the rules and regulations were considered to be unconstitutional, unfair or illegal.

“But it is within their right to test that principle. They are trying to see if the court can suspend the ruling until there is a final decision made by the court, which is likely given that the December recess is approaching.”

Increasing political interest

Head of political studies and international relations at NorthWest University Dr Benjamin Rapanyane said the EFF has done a commendable job in terms of bringing the youth of SA back into the politics of the country.

“South Africans had long lost interest in voting, including broader political participation, before the establishment of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

“It has made considerable efforts at fighting racism in South Africa,” he said. Rapanyane said the EFF has also exposed corrupt activities of the ANC politicians.

ALSO READ: Julius Malema scores Rasta’s painting of him 10 out of 10

“It is just unfortunate that their militant economic policies are not be good for South Africa at this point in time,” he added.

Rapanyane said even if Malema had promised to build a school, citizens no longer listened to politicians when they made promises.

“This has become a norm also within the ruling party. “The ANC politicians have made multiple empty promises before.”

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