Political think-tank, the Rivonia Circle, has described the Economic Freedom Fighter’s boycott of tonight’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) as politically interesting with no real impact.
Earlier, the party announced its decision in a statement.
The red berets are upset over a high court ruling which dismissed the party’s urgent bid to have the suspension of six EFF MPs, from attending the sixth administration’s last SONA. Party leader, Julius Malema, is among the suspended MPs who are under fire for disrupting last year’s event.
The party had also wanted wanted new joint parliamentary rules, which prohibits MPs from interrupting the President while delivering the State of the Nation Address, to be suspended.
The EFF believes that the rules were designed to target party members and seek to shield President Cyril Ramaphosa from scrutiny.
Speaking to YNews, Rivonia Circle’s Director of Programmes, Tessa Dooms, said the EFF’s absence at the Cape Town City Hall for the President’s address tonight will ensure the smooth running of proceedings, unlike previous years where chaos ensued.
Dooms says despite this, however, South Africans should not shy away from holding the President accountable and question him on unfulfilled promises.
The chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Amos Masondo, has on the other hand rejected claims that the disputed Parliamentary rules were were designed to target the EFF.
The EFF’s Statement on the Western Cape High Court Judgment Against EFF Members of Parliament
-Consequently, all EFF Members of Parliament will not participate in the 2024 SONA activities and programme, as these are undemocratic and unconstitutional and the so-called State of… pic.twitter.com/xeTx9DuRhv
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 8, 2024
All EFF Members of Parliament will not participate in the 2024 SONA activities and programme, as these are undemocratic and unconstitutional. The so-called State of the Nation Address in 2024 is an extended Caucus of the ANC. Partial participation in the 2024 SONA activities and… pic.twitter.com/KjOdDvMxYK
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) February 8, 2024
With approximately 490 Members of Parliament and representatives of the South African Local Government Association attending the address, South Africans will get to hear what government’s plan is for the country for the new year.
One of the things that some South Africans are looking forward to hear is whether President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed off on the NHI bill, which has been a bone of contention and promises to change South Africa’s healthcare system.
The bill was passed in the National Council of Provinces in December and health workers’ union, Nehawu’s Lwazi Nkolonzi, says further delays in signing it off would be an injustice to millions of South Africans.
The upcoming elections, high unemployment rate, the slow economic growth, corruption, the energy crisis and crime are other key issues that South Africans will be waiting with bated breath for the President to address.
Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris