EFF defends protest, says Zuma insulted Parliament

Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters has defended its "staged protest" which caused a disruption in the National Assembly.

Party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi named three reasons for the protest in Parliament on Thursday.

"President [Jacob] Zuma did not respond to the public protector's report and directive that public money was spent in his private home security upgrade and to that extent he must pay back," he said in a statement.

"President Zuma was asked by the EFF [leader] Julius Malema in Parliament as to when is he paying back the money as per the public protector's directive, but Zuma did not respond and chose to stick to the nonsense that the minister of the police must determine who is going to pay."

He said the third reason was because the public protector's report must be "duly complied with" because it was a chapter nine institution.

Zuma 'insulted intelligence of Parliament'

Ndlozi said Zuma "insulted the intelligence of Parliament" and that of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by saying the police minister must indicate who should pay the money.

On Thursday, EFF MPs disrupted proceedings while Zuma was answering questions.

Tensions rose after Malema objected to Zuma's reply to a question about when he was going to repay part of the money spent on the R246m security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had ordered them out earlier because they were "not serious" about proceedings.

Madonsela had recommended in her report on Nkandla, titled Secure in Comfort, that Zuma repay part of the money.


Ndlozi said in a statement that Parliament's duty was to hold the "executive accountable" which meant Zuma should answer questions raised to him in the house.

"The EFF cannot join the toothless tactics of parliamentary procedure when the very foundation of the rule of law is undermined by the executive," he said.

"To suppress these questions through orders is a suppression of the very constitutional duty of holding the executive accountable... He comes to Parliament hoping to escape accountability through his majority in Parliament and the ANC speaker."

Ndlozi said there was no other place for Zuma to "humble himself" and be answerable to the people.

Assault charges

However, the African National Congress said it would lay assault charges against Malema, Andile Mngxitama and the EFF after police had to break up a scuffle between EFF MPs and ANC Youth League national task team member Braam Hanekom.

"We fully support the investigation and shall mobilise support for our leadership that is being harassed by the EFF," spokesperson Bandile Masuku said.

"As the ANC Youth League, we were shocked by the anarchy and violent behaviour of EFF... In their attention seeking efforts some of them may think that they are radical. The behaviour seen in Parliament today was not only disgraceful, but also violent."

He said South Africans should not accept that MP's engage in physical attacks inside the gates of Parliament.

The scuffle broke out shortly after Mbete adjourned the House following the EFF's refusal to leave after she ordered them out.

Masuku said the "man-handling" of Hanekom was a very serious insult to South Africa but also a criminal act.

He said they would utilise the criminal justice system.

Jack "King" Tig 2014/08/22 08:53:19 AM
EFF are making Madiba proud. Press on Comrades
Akhenaten 2014/08/22 08:56:11 AM
H has been insulting the public all along, not only parliament.
Blackbeard 2014/08/22 08:56:20 AM
My enemy's enemy is my friend. Go Juju!
Johan Botes 2014/08/22 08:59:08 AM
On this point I totally support the EFF. Zuma has been dodging and diving for months now and cANCer is misusing its majority to protect him!
Steven Healey 2014/08/22 08:59:55 AM
Not a fan of JuJu or Zuma but this is entertaining!!!!!!
Made-In SA 2014/08/22 09:00:16 AM
What did the EFF really accomplish?What changed and is different this morning?All that happened is that in all the ruckus they created,Number One ducked and dived and slimed away like an eel full of grease.His skin is too thick to be bothered. The case needs to be made to proof that he stole.That can only happen in the ad hoc committee.
Tso Sesing 2014/08/22 09:00:41 AM
Wish all the opposition parties could take the leaf out of what u hv done, smell the coffee & support u. D less u talk about DA d better, they just enjoy been in Parliament for doing nothing or going to courts.
Tonny Magagula 2014/08/22 09:02:39 AM
Gwede Mantashe says the EFF has trampled on the dignity of parliament, that's a lie ANC and Jacob Zuma are the one who trampled on the dignity of parliament by lying and stealing from us, Gwede Mantashe is a joke I can't take what he utters seriously, I like it for Malema
David Jones 2014/08/22 09:02:51 AM
Juju using JZ Nkandla issue as a way to shift focus from his own tax evasion woes
Evan Geel 2014/08/22 09:03:04 AM
Whining like 4 year olds shouldn't get you a place at the big peoples table we need constructive leadership