EFF protested because ‘Zuma insulted the intelligence of Parliament’

2014-08-22 08:27

The Economic Freedom Fighters has defended its “staged protest” which caused a disruption in the National Assembly.

Party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi named three reasons for the protest in Parliament yesterday.

“President [Jacob] Zuma did not respond to the public protector’s report and directive that public money was spent in his private home security upgrade and to that extent he must pay back,” he said.

“President Zuma was asked by the EFF [leader] Julius Malema in Parliament as to when is he paying back the money as per the public protector’s directive, but Zuma did not respond and chose to stick to the nonsense that the minister of the police must determine who is going to pay.”

He said the third reason was because the public protector’s report must be “duly complied with” because it was a chapter nine institution.

Ndlozi said Zuma “insulted the intelligence of Parliament” and that of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by saying the police minister must indicate who should pay the money.

Yesterday, EFF MPs disrupted proceedings while Zuma was answering questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcf39alAmaw

Ndlozi said Parliament’s duty was to hold the “executive accountable” which meant Zuma should answer questions raised to him in the house.

“The EFF cannot join the toothless tactics of parliamentary procedure when the very foundation of the rule of law is undermined by the executive,” he said.

“To suppress these questions through orders is a suppression of the very constitutional duty of holding the executive accountable ... He comes to Parliament hoping to escape accountability through his majority in Parliament and the ANC speaker.”

Ndlozi said there was no other place for Zuma to “humble himself” and be answerable to the people.

However, the African National Congress said it would lay assault charges against Malema, Andile Mngxitama and the EFF after police had to break up a scuffle between EFF MPs and ANC Youth League national task team member Braam Hanekom.

“We fully support the investigation and shall mobilise support for our leadership that is being harassed by the EFF,” league spokesperson Bandile Masuku said.

National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete announced that Parliament was set to establish a committee to probe the conduct of the EFF and a possible censure for the party’s members.

“The feeling among members of Parliament from across the board since the beginning of the fifth Parliament is that there has come into the House... a group of people who have no respect for Parliament as an institution of the people of South Africa who elect representatives that come and play a role in the House,” Mbete said.

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