EFF MPs should be criminally probed for SONA - ANC in Parliament

2017-02-10 18:06
Jackson Mthembu. (File)

Jackson Mthembu. (File)

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Cape Town – The EFF’s actions during the State of the Nation Address were a “national shame”, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Friday.

The party’s MPs responsible for damaging property during their violent eviction from the House on Thursday night should face charges, he told reporters.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the repulsive conduct of these EFF MPs and their supporters, whose intention was to collapse the most important sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, undermine the rights of South Africans, and to destroy the institution.”

Their behaviour warranted a criminal probe and a parliamentary investigation. They attacked Parliament’s security staff and damaged property as they left the National Assembly, Mthembu said.

He claimed that an EFF member or supporter released “teargas powder” in the public gallery, which forced some people to leave. Security footage would be reviewed to identify who was responsible.

As it happened: Another dramatic #SONA as chaos erupts inside and outside Parliament

'Grandstanding'

It was “shameful” that the DA used the deaths of the 94 Health Esidimeni patients for “political posturing”, he said.

The party should have consulted other parties on its attempt to have a minute’s silence for the mentally-ill patients who died after they were transferred to unlicensed NGOs in 2016.

The ANC in Parliament felt the families of the deceased should not have been made to witness their loved ones' deaths become part of “such disorderliness”.

Mthembu said there was no consultation with DA leader Mmusi Maimane over the moment’s silence, and if he said so, he was lying.

Mthembu said the ANC was alerted to the deployment of the SANDF to Parliament, despite multiple assurances that there would be no soldiers. Soldiers were not allowed on the precinct, and they would write to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to discuss this.

Mthembu said the ANC caucus welcomed Zuma's plan for “radical economic transformation”.

His speech demonstrated a willingness to change the South African economy so it would benefit all citizens.

Mthembu was pleased with the announcement that the R122 000 annual income threshold to qualify for the NSFAS would be reviewed. Parliament would do all it could to finalise the Expropriation Bill, which Zuma had sent back.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  politics  |  sona 2017

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