EFF again in hot water with Parliament

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 25, 2015

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, has accused Parliament of protecting Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa after the party were removed from the National Assembly yesterday for labelling him a thief.

Proceedings during the debate, involving Eskom’s asking for a further R23-billion in bail-out funds, became strained after MP Marshall Dlamini reportedly made a series of remarks regarding Ramaphosa’s previous role as Executive Chairman of the Shanduka Group of companies, which made a profit out of selling coal to Eskom.

Told by Deputy National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to withdraw the remark, Ndlozi as well as party leader Julius Malema and Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu, stood up without being recognised.

“You can’t ask someone to withdraw something that is true, that Cyril made money from the sale of coal. He is here to steal money. We’re not going to agree to withdraw that,” Malema said.

Irritated by the response and continuing protest, Tsenoli continued to warn MP’s that their behaviour was out of order before ordering them to leave for showing contempt for Parliament.

“The EFF will never withdraw this because we know for a fact that Ramaphosa still owns and controls the affairs of Shanduka. The presiding officer sought to suppress the truth and then ordered the EFF to leave parliament because of speaking the truth,” Ndlozi said in a statement afterwards.

“If Parliament is to add value in society, it must be able to speak truth to power. We repeat and shall never withdraw that Ramaphosa is benefiting from the state loans to Eskom through the coal that his Shanduka is selling to Eskom”.

Responding to the claims, Presidency Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said that it is a well-known fact that Ramaphosa terminated his interests in Shanduka after being announced as a member of Cabinet.

“His divestment, announced in November 2014, is the result of a process that he initiated to remove the potential for any conflicts of interest,” Mamoepa said.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa was assigned in December 2014 to lead the Eskom war room, which is focused solely on the implementation of government’s five point plan to address the current electricity constraints facing the country and does not stand to benefit personally from these processes. The Presidency calls on the EFF to have the courage of its conviction to substantiate their claims or withdraw them”.