Harassment of councillors for wearing overalls a ploy to subdue us - EFF

2016-09-03 18:21

(Matshidiso Madia)

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Pretoria - The EFF says the constant harassment of its councillors over their dress code is a ploy to suppress the party and its ideas.

"The EFF condemns the harassment of EFF councillors across the country for their choice to wear overalls to represent its constituency in their councils," acting spokesperson Fana Mokoena said in a statement on Saturday.

"We deem this as an orchestrated move to suppress the EFF and its ideas.

"The Constitution of South Africa, in its Bill of Rights (Chapter 2, Section 16) gives all citizens and persons living in the country the Freedom of Expression. It also states categorically that all state organs must protect these rights espoused in Chapter 2.

"The Economic Freedom Fighters has elected to express itself in a certain way which it deems representative of it constituency. It is not obscene, does not infringe on other people’s rights, and is peaceful and non-violent in character."

Mokoena said councils across the country had changed their rules just prior to the recent local government elections with the aim of harassing EFF councillors when they got elected into office.

Almost naked

"In the Eastern Cape, especially in OR Tambo, Chris Hani, BCM and others; in KZN, especially in Ulundi, Mhlatuze and others; [officials] continue to expel our members from councils and some have not even sworn them in.

"In North West, our members have resorted to the humiliating means of walking almost naked in protest of this unjust treatment. We call on the ANC and the IFP in KZN to cease with this unconstitutional practice and we warn them that we will take advantage of all avenues to ensure our members' rights are preserved and we will not stop until the situation has been rectified," he said.

Mokoena said it was surprising that the harassment was not evenly applied across provinces even where the rules were the same. He said that demonstrated the inconsistent belief even by councils themselves in the "draconian and archaic" rules.

"The highest legislative body in the land, National Parliament has been correctly advised not to meddle with EFF members' rights in terms of the dress code. Other organs of State should have taken example.

"It must however be noted that the National Assembly has also instituted new rules designed specifically for the purpose of extracting EFF members from the house. The EFF has sent a letter to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on this matter and National Assembly will be dealt with separately," said Mokoena.

Read more on:    eff  |  politics

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