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Parliament vows to deal with Malema if he disrupts Sona over Gordhan

EFF leader Julius Malema
EFF leader Julius Malema
Image: MultimediaLIVE

Parliament's presiding officers on Monday cautioned against MPs making public threats to disrupt the business of parliament.

National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise and Amos Masondo, chair of the National Council of Provinces, said in a statement that such threats were irresponsible and showed a lack of understanding for one's duty to the public.

EFF leader Julius Malema was quoted as having said his party would disrupt the upcoming state of the nation address (Sona) if President Cyril Ramaphosa did not fire public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

The Citizen newspaper reported on Monday that Malema told a rally in the North West town of Schweizer Reneke, ahead of a byelection in the Mamusa municipality, that unless Gordhan goes, the upcoming Sona would be met with chaos similar to when former president Jacob Zuma was in office.

 “I want to tell Cyril Ramaphosa today that if he can’t fire Pravin before the state of the nation address, the state of the nation address shall be about Pravin,” Malema was quoted as saying.

“We will stand up there. We will stop him from speaking. We will tell him you must fire Pravin because we must protect South Africa’s assets. If Ramaphosa is not prepared to protect our assets by firing Pravin, then Ramaphosa must go.”

Parliament said while its presiding officers would not lose sleep over such threats as an appropriate mechanism was in place to ensure no disruption took place, they found such perennial threats ahead of key parliamentary programmes objectionable and an unnecessary distraction to the institution's commitments to South Africans.

"The complex challenges confronting our country require capable public representatives who endeavour to strengthen parliament's constitutional function of fearless oversight over the executive, not impede its work," they said.

Deputy president David Mabuza told journalists last week that the Eskom board and Gordhan had misled them about there being no load-shedding until January 13.

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