EFF feels legislature wrath

EFF MPs are removed by police from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for wearing red overalls, 1 July 2014. Picture: @EconFreedomZA via Twitter
EFF MPs are removed by police from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for wearing red overalls, 1 July 2014. Picture: @EconFreedomZA via Twitter

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on July 2, 2014. 

Two  EFF MPLs were injured yesterday after being thrown out of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for wearing overalls.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Omphile Maotwe who siad Benjamin Disolwane and Mgcini Faku were “manhandled” by security when they were being removed from the legislature.

“Our chief whip (Faku) had his arm broken during the forced removal,” said Maotwe.

The members and six others were asked to leave the legislature when they came dressed in their red overalls.

The Speaker of the provincial legislature, Ntombi Megkwe said EFF MPLs were asked to “excuse themselves” after she explained to them that they were dressed inappropriately.

When they refused to do so, she invoked Legislatures Act 4 of 2004 which gives her the power to evict members of the legislature from the proceedings.

Parliamentary spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said the National Assembly operated separately from any other Legislature.

The National Assembly therefore allowed the EFF to attend the proceedings wearing their overalls.

Party insignia and symbols are allowed in Parliament, he said.

“Every legislature is empowered by law to impose its own rules,” said Jacobs.

Deputy provincial speaker Uhuru Moiloa said they could “not allow anarchy to happen” by allowing any members to behave inappropriately by not sticking to the Guateng legislature’s rules and regulations.

“The gimmicks of the EFF are an attempt to divert the legislature…Today was a waste of the nation’s time,” he said.

Mekgwe shared her thoughts on the EFF’s red overalls, saying “this is not a garden”.

Speaker in the Gauteng Legislature Ntombi Mekgwe addresses a press briefing on the removal of EFF members from the legislature during a sitting in Johannesburg.
Speaker in the Gauteng Legislature Ntombi Mekgwe addresses a press briefing on the removal of EFF members from the legislature during a sitting in Johannesburg.

She added that the legislature was a noble house and as such required appropriate dress code.

She said “minimal force” had to be used to remove the two members.

Mekgwe claimed she did not see any excessive force being used, she only saw one of the EFF members hitting a female security personnel with a “hot klap” during their eviction. She said this violence would be dealt with.

Mekgwe said during the two week orientation that all MPLs were taken through earlier this year, the standing rules outlined matters of conduct and participation in the legislature and the EFF members had failed to abide by those rules.

The EFF MPLs have not been expelled from legislature, however Mekgwe said the members would just need to dress appropriately to be allowed back into legislature in the coming days.

Maotwe said the provincial branch of the EFF would be consulting “head office and will take the matter from there”.

Late yesterday Mekgwe said the integrity commissioner would investigate the incident.

“We are referring the matter to the integrity commission. They will advise us on how to move forward,” Mekgwe said.

Gauteng police spokesperson Leutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he would respond to the allegations only once a case had been opened.

 

Advertisements

Malema ‘will go to parliament’

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is seen addressing supporters during a march to the SABC's head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 over its refusal to air an Economic Freedom Fighters' television election commercial. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is seen addressing supporters during a march to the SABC’s head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 over its refusal to air an Economic Freedom Fighters’ television election commercial. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen on May 5, 2014. 

Economic Freedom Fighters “commander-in-chief” Julius Malema told a rally in Atteridgeville yesterday that he intends to go to Parliament to “deliver the best of the best” to all South Africans.

He was the keynote speaker at the Tshela Tupa (“Crack the Whip”) rally – his last opportunity to campaign before election day on Wednesday.

The almost 30 000 strong crowd went wild when Malema made his grand entrance. Led by bikers, he greeted the crowd while walking around the track.

Before he addressed the crowd, Dali Mpofu, Gauteng premier candidate for the EFF, led a demonstration of how e-tolls would be “destroyed physically” – an EFF campaign promise. Using hammers, party supporters in red jumpsuits laid into a white structure labelled “e-toll”.

“Any future without EFF is suffering,” Malema told the crowd.

His organisation would be around for the next 100 years, he said, and would be “handed down from one generation to the next”.

The EFF is “inspiring the hopeless masses of people”, he continued. He reiterated promises of increased minimum wages, compulsory free education and land expropriation without compensation. “You will own those farms after the 7th of May,” he said.

He said that the EFF was asking voters for “five years” to make a difference.

Apparently addressing remarks made by City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, he explained how way grants would work under EFF policies.

“We will take out the middle man (the South African Social Grants Agency)… That money will be added on top of our credits. The second money is going to come from politicians.” Money that would otherwise have been used to buy politicians cars would be given as grants to children and the elderly, he said.

Politicians should buy their own cars and houses and finance their own credit cards. They earn a salary and they “should use it”, he said.

EFF will leave Wits’ Senate House ‘when recognised’

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 4, 2014. 

EFF-Senate-house-602x379
Students of the Wits EFF branch occupy the 11th floor Senate Room, Wits University yesterday. The students are demanding recognition as an official university club. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Wits entered their second day of occupation on the 11th floor of the Senate House building at Wits University in Johannesburg yesterday. 

The student branch of the EFF on Wednesday occupied vice-chancellor Adam Habib’s office in protest against its lack of recognition by the university as a society.

Security moved the EFF members from the office the following morning, which is when they relocated to the Senate House, with a constant security presence.

Habib said the security measures were put in place as “a precaution to ensure that the occupation doesn’t get out of hand”.

Vuyani Pambo, EFF Wits chairperson, said the occupation would only come to an end once the EFF’s Wits group was recognised as a university society on campus.

“”Every day that passes frustrates our political programme,” he said.

The EFF had followed all the right channels and had interacted with both the SRC and the dean of student affiars, Pamela Dube, on various occasions, yet their application was still rejected, he said.

Reports have indicated that the EFF was not registered because they submitted their application late to the SRC.

“These are lies. This is a tactic,” said Pambo.

He said that the group went into action when they discovered that their application would have to wait until next year.

Habib said the university intended to launch an investigation into the matter, which would be completed today.

On the indefinite period of the occupation, Habib said that students are “free to occupy any public space, as long as they obey the rules”.

However, he added that the EFF group were being unreasonable” as their gripe was with the SRC, and not him.

Habib was away in Pretoria when the students took over his office. He initially engaged with them publically during their occupation of his office live on twitter. Their hashtag #EFFoccupation has gained traction on the social media site.

Pambo said that their “soft radical action” would escalate if the university didn’t engage them today or at latest on Monday.