ANC: The EFF should win support through debate or deliberation, not intimidation

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe

The ANC has condemned the physical acts of intimidation directed by EFF MPs towards Public Enterprises Minister Parvin Gordhan in Parliament on Thursday during his departmental budget speech.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe on Friday described the actions of the EFF as “unacceptable” and contrary to the “culture and ethos of this country”.

“The ANC noted with grave concern the physical acts of intimidation by the EFF Members of Parliament against Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan in Parliament yesterday during his departmental budget speech.”

“The actions of the EFF fly in the face of the democratic culture and ethos of our country, of which Parliament is its highest embodiment,” read the statement released by Mabe.

He urged the EFF to use the parliamentary platform to try and win support for its views through debate or deliberation, instead of using physical intimidation.

“In their usual fashion, they resorted to intimidation and undermining the decorum of Parliament,” said Mabe.

He further urged parliamentary leaders to “act decisively” against those who perpetrate physical intimidation.

“Comrade Gordhan, an ANC deployee like any other Member of Parliament, must be protected from physical intimidation so that he is able to fulfil his duties as a public representative and minister,” he said.

In a bid to prevent Gordhan from presenting his budget speech, members of the EFF labelled him a “constitutional delinquent” and approached him at the podium, a move roundly condemned by all other parties in the House.

Gordhan stood his ground throughout the fracas and even dared them to lay their hands on him.

After the EFF members were thrown out of the proceedings, the minister said: “What you’ve witnessed is a defence of state capture because one must ask what [it is] that motivates ordinary Members of Parliament to engage in such intimidatory tactics. And the question you, ourselves and the public must ask, is: ‘What do they have to hide?’”

He added that he was undeterred by such actions.

“Intimidation of this kind, let me say very clearly and categorically, is not going to intimidate me and stop us from fighting the good fight.”

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