South Africa 12.2.2015 03:17 pm

EFF a party divided at SONA

Picture: Alaister Russell

Picture: Alaister Russell

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs will attend President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address divided this evening.

This became evident a short while ago when a scuffle broke between EFF supporters loyal to EFF leader Julius Malema and party MP Andile Mngxitama.

Mngxitama is among the group of EFF members who have fallen out of favour with Malema. Chaos broke out when Mngxitama was about to address the media in a press conference he had called.

Malema’s lieutenant and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu subsequently congratulated EFF members who attacked Mngxitama.

Shivambu tweeted: “The Fighters who saved the EFF T-shirt from a rebel (rebellion) should be congratulated. We should defend the Movement. No retreat!!”

Repeated attempts to get comment from Shivambu were unsuccessful as his two cellphones were off.

The Citizen has it on good authority that some EFF MPs loyal to Mngxitama will use the SONA to embarrass Malema. Malema has repeatedly committed his party to disrupting Zuma’s speech.

The EFF want Zuma to pay back some of the R246 million used on upgrades at his private Nkandla residence before he delivers the SONA.

It is understood that some will attempt to embarrass Malema and say the disruption of the Sona does not have their blessing.

Meanwhile, the EFF claims that Parliament and the “ANC Police” have planned to manhandle and arrest EFF MPs for things they will say inside Parliament during the SONA.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party was aware the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, will ask Members of Parliament to sit down only three times.

“The Speaker will instruct the Sergeant at Arms to come into the house (and) ask the member to leave the Chamber. (He/she) will bow three times before they call in the police into the Chamber to remove the member,” Ndlozi said in a statement.

“The police will then remove the member and take them into a dungeon which will lead to Tuynhuis and during that process, we will not know what will happen to the member.

“Each gate and entrance of Parliament will have 20 police officers, who will manhandle the Members of Parliament.”

Ndlozi said the EFF and all its members were not intimidated by the security forces that the party claimed to was seeking to “undermine Parliament”.

“The EFF will ask questions in Parliament because Zuma has been avoiding accountability in Parliament, “said Ndlozi.

“We will never be threatened by those who undermine institutions of democracy.

“The demand and clarion call is simple; Zuma must pay back the money and be held accountable by the institutions of democracy.”


 Political temperature reaches boiling point

The chaos that erupted at an EFF faction media briefing in Cape Town on Thursday afternoon, is an indication of a political temperature that has reached boiling point, according to political analyst Andre Duvenhage.

He said the current situation, must be concerning to President Jacob Zuma, who is expected to address the nation on Wednesday evening during the State of the Nation Address (Sona).

“The profile of Zuma in the last six months has not been of a person with a strong self-esteem, but rather of somebody who has been escaping his duties in the National Assembly.

“Tonight (Thursday) will indeed be a big test for Zuma , and if given an opportunity, the EFF will definitely make a move, and turn Parliament into a circus,” Duvenhage added.

 

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