Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has defended party members who were removed from Parliament for attempting to disrupt Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan‘s budget vote speech on Thursday evening.
Addressing the party’s third Students Command Assembly in Bloemfontein, Malema says Gordhan should be axed from Cabinet following adverse findings against him by Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
He says Gordhan is frustrating efforts to empower black communities.
“The man serves whiteness without apology, the man defend the status quo when the establishment without an apology. Pravin is not for black Africans he’s for white minority, is for white monopoly capital, he’s for Stellenbosch.
“That is why when the EFF approached Pravin in Parliament, the first person to stand up was a white woman from the DA, to go an defend their defender. That is what he is; Pravin is an infiltration in the struggle for total emancipation of our people.”
Gordhan has filed an urgent court interdict seeking to review and set aside Public Protector’s damning report against him regarding the so-called SARS rogue unit. The EFF said it has instructed its lawyers to join the Public Protector’s defence in her legal battle with Gordhan.
Gordhan says he is not intimidated by the actions of the EFF.
“What you’ve witnessed is a defense of state capture because one must ask what it is that motivates ordinary members of parliament to engage in such intimidatory tactics and the public must ask is what do they have to hide what is it that they don’t want to be locked behind because for intimidatory of this kind is not going to intimidate me.”
The ANC has called on Parliament to impose the strongest possible sanctions on the EFF over its conduct in the National Assembly on Thursday. The DA, as well as other opposition parties, called for sanctions to be imposed on the EFF for the conduct of its members. ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe says they welcome the call and will work with other parties to ensure that the EFF MP’s are held accountable.
Weighing in on the debate, struggle veteran and former presidency spokesperson, Mac Maharaj says the attack on Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, is also an attack on Parliament and Government.
Maharaj, who served as a cabinet minister, says the actions of these individuals should be seen as a serious threat to democracy.
“I think that the actions that we witnessed yesterday is directed at undermining a key pillar of our democracy which is our elected parliamentary system. I see the attack on Pravin as not simply an attack on Pravin alone. It is intended to be an attack on the government led by Cyril Ramaphosa. It is, therefore, an attack on the entire democratic system. You see it not only on the attack on Parliament but also similar people have begun to attack the credibility of the courts. Here we have a serious threat to our democracy which is nothing but something that will take us back to authoritarian rule.”