The African National Congress (ANC) in parliament has condemned what they call the “hooliganism” demonstrated by EFF MPs in the National Assembly (NA) yesterday.
This comes after the MPs from the red berets threatened to physically assault Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan during the budget vote debate in an effort to prevent him from delivering his budget vote Speech.
“History reminds us that disruptions and outright anarchy is not a new tactic by the EFF; on Tuesday 25 June 2019 during the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA), these reactionaries were requested to leave the National Assembly Chamber after disruptions emanated from their benches, immediately after comrade Gordhan took to the podium to deliver his speech,” said the ANC in a statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina.
“This uncouth behaviour by EFF Members of Parliament is not only repulsive, but is an insult to South Africans from all walks of life who have entrusted Members of Parliament with the mammoth task of making laws that govern our sovereign Republic, and with the immense responsibility of conducting parliamentary oversight, over the executive arm of Government,” added the ANC.
The party went on to commend Gordhan and MPs, both from their own ranks and those in opposition parties for averting “what nearly became a serious skirmish, and for remaining calm in the face of such blatant provocation.”
According to the ANC, such abhorrent conduct ought to be shunned by those who value the country’s constitutional democracy and multi-party parliamentary system.
The ruling party is of the belief that the conduct of the EFF is confirmation that the party does not see parliament and legislatures as forums for the contestation of ideas, advancement of superior arguments and as a space for pursuit of alternative policies through superior arguments.
“Anarchism can never be a substitute for vibrant and superior ideas. What ensued yesterday was not only an attack on legitimate democratic institutions like parliament, but an attack on the values our country is founded on,” said the ANC.
The party then called for the strongest appropriate sanctions to be imposed against EFF MPs to ensure that there is not a repeat of last night’s events.
“We welcome the recommendation made to the Presiding Officer to refer the unacceptable behaviour of EFF MPs to relevant Parliamentary structures for investigation and strong sanction. No amount of intimidation and disruption from those without rational solutions will deter us,” concluded the ANC.