EFF rejects chief whips’ meeting

2015-02-17 07:35

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The Economic Freedom Fighters refused to attend a meeting of Parliament’s chief whips’ forum yesterday, at which it was agreed that parties would “shun anarchy”.

“All the parties agreed that what happened on Thursday was unfortunate and reflected negatively on all political parties, the institution and was an embarrassment to all South Africans,” ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani, who called the meeting, said.

The forum met following Thursday’s unprecedented disruption of President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address.

“The parties have agreed to work jointly to shun anarchy, restore order, respect the supremacy of the rules and laws governing the business of Parliament and preserve the decorum of the institution.”

The EFF said it did not attend the meeting as it “did not have an agenda and we refused to participate in a meeting without an agenda”.

The EFF said it agreed in principle that MPs should shun anarchy, but that an incorrect impression was being created that the party was causing Parliament’s problems.

“The EFF’s insistence on compliance and adherence to the rules of the National Assembly and joint sittings is a principled position which seek to expose the reality that for the past 20 years, opposition parties have been failing to hold the executive accountable,” the party said in a statement.

“Opposition parties have been letting the executive get away with murder and unaccountability and allowed to be abused by narrow majoritarianism, which is often applied without regard of the rules of Parliament.”

On Thursday night, the EFF carried out its threat to confront Zuma about the money spent on so-called security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

After security officers had dragged EFF MPs out of the chamber, the DA walked out and accused the ANC of becoming as oppressive as the apartheid regime.

The DA and EFF are consulting their lawyers in a bid to possibly bring a legal challenge against the use of police in the house.

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