Julius Malema gears up for ‘physical’ fight over EFF overalls

2014-07-03 16:00

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EFF leader Julius Malema says the party will fight – even physically and to the death if needs be – for the right to wear red overalls and domestic worker uniforms in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

“The continuation to remove EFF from the legislatures through wrong rulings will cause an instability in this province of Gauteng. We will fight … we have got the ability to mobilise our people and fight these people physically,” he said.

An angry Malema was responding at a briefing in Braamfontein, Joburg, today to an incident on Tuesday when EFF members were kicked out of the Gauteng provincial legislature after speaker Ntombi Mekgwe said their red overalls and domestic workers’ uniforms – the party’s signature gear for MPs – were inappropriate.

Police were called when the EFF members refused to leave the House. A scuffle ensued during which a few EFF members were injured. The party has since been banned from the provincial legislature if its MPLs continue to insist on attending sittings in their overalls.

Malema said the EFF had every right to be in the legislature as it was chosen by “almost 500 000” voters to represent it there.

“We are not scared of anything. We have the mandate of our people and no one should play with that mandate. We are not going to sit back and allow a situation where the mandate of our people is undermined through undemocratic methods. If death is going to be the order of the day, so be it,” said Malema.

He said the EFF had promised its voters that when the party was voted into Parliament, its members would wear overalls and they would stick to that promise. He said ANC leaders in Gauteng were uncomfortable with this attire because they saw themselves as being above ordinary workers.

“They look down on workers’ clothes because that’s what they do to their domestic workers. They don’t eat the same food or drink the same water as their domestic workers,” he said.

The EFF, he said, would go to court to seek an urgent interdict challenging the decision by the Gauteng legislature to bar its members from sittings. It would also challenge in court a decision by the Eastern Cape legislature to ban one of its members for refusing to retract the word, amabhulu (boers) which he had used in a speech during a debate on the state of the province address.

The EFF would also approach the courts to overturn a ruling by chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise that it was “unparliamentary” of Malema to attribute the Marikana massacre to the ANC.

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