Six Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs, including party leader, Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Sinawo Thambo and Vuyani Pambo have been suspended from Parliament.
The suspension will come into effect tomorrow and will last until the 29th of February. This means the EFF leaders will not be present at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week Thursday.
They have been found guilty of being in contempt of Parliament after they disrupted the President’s SONA last year.
Yesterday, the Western Cape High Court struck off the roll the MPs’ case to challenge their sanction.
Last year, the EFF leaders, who are no strangers to causing chaos in Parliament, stormed the podium with placards in a demonstration against the President’s controversial Phala Phala scandal.
[ICYMI: Here is a reminder of the chaos that ensued during that address.]
The EFF has rejected the MPs’ suspension as a politically-motivated move that aims to intimidate those who seek to hold the government accountable.
The party’s national spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo, says Parliament’s decision sets a dangerous precedent and threatens the fundamental rights of citizens.
“The timing of this suspension, specifically choosing February 2024 to exclude our members from the upcoming SONA, is particularly nefarious. This move appears to be a calculated attempt to ensure that Ramaphosa can deliver his final SONA without facing scrutiny from the EFF.”
Thambo says it is evident that the ANC-led government is resorting to vindictive measures to silence opposition voices and evade accountability for their failures.
The party says the rest of its MPs will attend the SONA and continue to hold the President accountable on several issues, including GBV, unemployment and rampant crime.
Thambo added that the fact that a peaceful protest led to prosecution, and now a court ruling effectively upholding that prosecution, raises serious concerns about the state of democracy in the country.
[Below are some of the EFF’s moments in Parliament ]
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza