SONA Drama Part 4: Parties accuse Mbete for chaos

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 16, 2015

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) have accused National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete of inciting violence after remarks over the weekend, in which she referred to EFF leader Julius Malema as a thug and a cockroach.

According to the Mail & Guardian, Mbete made the remarks during an ANC Provincial Congress meeting in North West on Saturday, saying that the EFF’s disruption of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last Thursday, was expected and that they [ANC] “knew everything, including what the red overalls discussed”.

“Those thugs there are going to come to provinces to run a similar campaign, not only in legislatures but also in municipalities. Those people are not working with people of this country alone, they are pawns in a bigger scheme of things where some western governments are involved”, she said before later adding, “If we don't work we will continue to have cockroaches like Malema roaming all over the place."

In a statement, EFF National Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who along with Malema and the party’s Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, were told to leave the National Assembly during the SONA, labelled Mbete’s accusations as “shocking”, before saying that Parliament would be better off without her.

“The country cannot afford to have the Speaker of the National Assembly who incites violence against members of parliament, both inside and outside parliament,” he said.

“She has violated the Rules of Parliament she is responsible for enforcing as well as the Constitution of South Africa by ordering armed security forces to assault and forcefully remove members of parliament for what they said inside the Chamber”.

He also took a swipe at Mbete’s claims that the party were receiving backing from the West, saying that it was a “well known-fact that ANC government has received financial support from western imperialist forces” citing Zuma’s visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month as an example of the ANC “begging these western imperialist forces to come loot the South African economy and shift their profits to tax havens and subject our people to endless cycle of poverty".

DA Chief Whip John Steenhusien, said that Mbete’s comments proves that she is “determined to destroy Parliament” and that she is essentially “ANC deployee, sent to the National Assembly to prioritise her party’s interests ahead of our country’s and the Constitution”.

He also announced that the party would refer Mbete as well as National Council of Provinces Chairperson, Thandi Modise, to Parliament’s Powers and Privileges Committee after the deploying of Parliamentary security to remove EFF MP’s from the sitting, which later resulted in the DA’s walkout from proceedings.

 

CAPTION: Still image showing the Democratic Alliance walking out of Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last Thursday. IMAGE sourced from eNCA

 

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