As expected, the Gauteng state of the province address (Sopa) was briefly interrupted on Monday morning.
EFF MP Ntobeng Ntobeng was the first to rise, raising the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Gauteng provincial legislature member Ntombi Mekgwe said the motion on Esidimeni could not be put on the order paper for debate during the Sopa.
Another EFF member, Christina Mabala, said the matter was of public importance, stressing that she did not want to be interrupted by the speaker, who made a ruling on Ntobeng’s request for a debate.
The EFF whip reminded Mekgwe that she personally sent her a request to debate the matter by 11pm on Sunday. Mekgwe said, if one also read the rules, the official business of the legislature was not at midnight, adding that the debate would only take place on Tuesday next week.
The premier eventually took to the podium but was again interrupted by an EFF member who called for freedom of speech among members in the legislature.
The speaker would have none of that, saying if members were not happy with her ruling, they should refer it to the rules committee.