CAPE TOWN – The African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties have condemned the conduct of members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who were ejected from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget debate after trying to prevent him from speaking.
The EFF members were ordered to leave after insisting they could not allow Gordhan to proceed, claiming he was a “constitutional delinquent”.
There was a tense stand-off as EFF MPs approached Gordhan at the podium instead of leaving, and parliamentary security staff were called in to remove them.
After the disruption, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called for the offending MPs to face charges of gross disorderly conduct in terms of Parliament’s rules.
Chief whip John Steenhuisen: “We can’t have a place where it becomes a battle of who can push who the hardest or who can out-shove the person. We use arguments not force in this House.”
The ANC and other parties agreed.
The ACDP’s Steve Swart: “What actually aggravated the situation even worse today was the threatening attitude towards the minister.”
An unfazed Gordhan then made his speech.
He noted Thursday’s 55th anniversary of the Rivonia treason trial and the courage of those who stood in the dock.
“This should remind all South Africans, particularly after what we’ve witnessed, what it means to be bold in the face of adversity and uncompromising in fighting any form of malfeasance and corruption. And to that, we can add attempted violence and intimidation.”
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