ANC in Parliament condemns conduct of EFF MPs
12 July 2019
The African National Congress in Parliament condemns the hooliganism demonstrated by EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) during the budget vote debate by the Minister of Public Enterprises, comrade Pravin Gordhan in the National Assembly (NA), yesterday.
During the Budget Vote debate, EFF Members of Parliament threatened to physically assault comrade Gordhan, in efforts 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.
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.
We commend all our Members of Parliament, including those of the opposition parties, for averting what nearly became a serious skirmish, and for remaining calm in the face of such blatant provocation. Such abhorrent conduct ought to be shunned by those who value our constitutional democracy and multi-party parliamentary system.
We commend Minister Pravin Gordhan for practising restraint in the face of overt provocation. As the ANC in parliament, we will continue to defend our peoples’ hard-won democracy and protect it against forces who are hell-bent on undermining it. Furthermore, we call upon the relevant organs of the institution to impose the strongest appropriate sanction against EFF Members of Parliament, to ensure that there isn’t a repeat of such repugnant behaviour.
The conduct of the EFF is confirmation that this party does not see Parliament and legislatures as forums for the contestation of ideas, advancement of superior arguments and 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.
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. As the governing party, we will fully participate in the process and work with all parties to restore the decorum of Parliament, which has an important responsibility to articulate and act on various issues affecting citizens. No amount of intimidation and disruption from those without rational solutions will deter us.
Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, comrade Pemmy Majodina.