No amount of violence will deter us from speaking truth to power - EFF

By Drum Digital
19 May 2016

Despite a looming threat of criminal charges against its MPs the EFF has vowed to continue disrupting Parliament until President Jacob Zuma is held accountable for breaking his oath of office, it said on Wednesday.

National spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the EFF had stood up on all the occasions that Zuma was present in the National Assembly to make their point.

"He cannot be allowed to speak until he is held accountable in terms of the fact that he has violated his oath of office.

"An oath of office is the contract he signs with parliament and the people of South Africa in which he accepts a-priori, that if he breaks he must cease to be president."

Ndlozi said when ordinary South Africans broke their contractual obligations with their employers they were either held accountable or fired.

"It is the same with [President] Jacob Zuma. He is not above the law, he is not special or different to us all," he said.

On Tuesday, during Parliament's question and answer session, the EFF MPs were forcibly removed after refusing to let Zuma speak.

A scuffle broke out, punches were thrown and property was damaged when Parliamentary Protection Services were called in by National Speaker Baleka Mbete asked them to remove the MPs.

Ndlozi said the party had repeatedly asked Mbete to implement disciplinary proceedings against Zuma, but that she had always been to send in the security officers who assaulted the MPs instead.

The party had opened multiple cases with the police against the officers but no follow-ups had been made, Ndlozi said.

"In 2015, these very hooligans beat up EFF MPs to the extent that they left Honourable Reneilwe Mashabela with a broken jaw.

"Despite opening a case and submitting all medical certificates as evidence, not even a single police officer has ever called to follow up on her case," Ndlozi said.

They had also filed an urgent court application ahead of the session on Tuesday asking the Western Cape High Court to interdict the Speaker of the National Assembly from having them removed.

The application was dismissed as not being urgent.

"Therefore, the EFF has nothing left but to fight back," Ndlozi said.

"We will no longer simply allow strangers to beat us up in parliament, all in protection of a criminal who has violated the constitution. No amount of violence will deter us from speaking truth to power."

Shortly after the MPs were removed on Tuesday, the office of the ANC's Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu issued a statement calling for criminal charges to be pressed against them.

"We urge Parliament to immediately press criminal charges against the EFF MPs for the assault of the security staff of Parliament and malicious damage to property," his spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in the statement.

He said the EFF had threatened the sanctity of South Africa's democracy and its constitutional institutions.

Ndlozi retorted that if Parliament were to indeed proceed with pressing criminal charges against the MPs, it would help in clarifying whether everyone was truly equal before the law "because the EFF has opened multiple cases against parliament hooligans and nothing has ever been done".

Source: News24

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