Six Economic Freedom Fighters Members of Parliament may not attend the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2024 after they were found guilty.
EFF leader Julius Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu, members of the central command team Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Vuyani Pambo, Sinawo Tambo and Marshall Dlamini were found guilty of disrupting the SONA in February when President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to give his address.
During the hearings by the Power and Privilege Committee, Malema and his fellow party members were found to have disregarded the ruling of the National Assembly Speaker when they were ordered to leave the chambers after causing disruptions.
Instead, they made their way across the floor and jumped onto the stage where the president was ready to give his address.
Parliament appointed Advocate Anton Katz to probe the incident and he has recommended that they be suspended during the SONA to remind them of the importance of that sitting.
Katz said that the six members should apologise to the President and the members of Parliament and added that he red berets had impeded the functioning of Parliament through their conduct.
” They must be suspended from February 6 until February 16, 2024. We submit that an appropriate sanction for those six affected members is to miss out on SONA 2024, to suspend them for 10 days with or without remuneration,” said Katz.
Katz said it was clear that the six affected members do not take SONA seriously.
“They disrupted, violated the dignity and the decorum of the sacred sitting of the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament when the president was reporting back to the people’s representatives, the judiciary, the chief justice, the heads of court, former presidents and foreign dignitaries.
They took it as an opportunity to take on the president.
That same president will be delivering SONA in 2024 and the message needs to be sent that SONA is a serious event in the life of the republic.
We submit that an appropriate sanction would be for those six affected members to miss out on Sona 2024,” said Katz.
The EFF has since withdrawn from the Power and Privilege Committee describing it as a “kangaroo court’.
“There is a clear bias, whether it be factual or by perception that the matter is being heard by Members of Parliament who would have a vested and biased interest in the outcome.
It has become palpably clear to the EFF that the hearings by the Powers and Privileges Committee have a pre-determined outcome.
We will approach the courts of South Africa to interdict the sham proceedings, which act as nothing but a compromised weapon in defence of Ramaphosa,” the red berets said in a statement after the ruling.