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EFF Members Penalized for Parliamentary Disruption During Budget Debate

Published March 27, 2024
1 months ago


The South African political landscape faces a renewed examination of parliamentary decorum as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) once again come under scrutiny for their conduct within the National Assembly. A report by the Powers and Privileges Committee has identified multiple EFF members as perpetrators of a commotion that disrupted the Presidency budget vote debate that unfolded in 2022.


Manketsi Tlhape, chairperson of the committee, confirmed that the comprehensive report is slated for presentation before the House for deliberation on Tuesday. Notably, EFF members Sinawo Tambo, Naledi Chirwa, Natasha Ntlangwini, and others were pegged for their roles in the upheaval that interrupted the crucial budgetary discussions.


The opposition to the committee’s findings was palpable, with EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi vocalizing the party's objections. In contrast, the response from the ruling ANC party was markedly supportive. Deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude indicated a consensus among varying political factions, underscoring preparatory consultations with chief whips geared toward the report's ratification.


Deliberations by the committee revealed that during the two-day debate in June 2022, the identified EFF members engaged in behavior that flouted the authoritative decorum of the House. According to Victor Ngaleka, adviser to the committee, the accused members' contraventions were extensive, ranging from insubordination to gross disorderliness, and necessitated physical ejection from the chamber.


The recommendations put forward entail a stringent set of disciplinary actions, anchored by the imposition of salary penalties and the stipulation of public apologies. Specifically, Tambo, Ntlangwini, and Montwedi face one-month suspensions sans remuneration, Chirwa, Mathulelwa, and Marais have prescribed reductions in their monthly earnings, while Mafanya and Yako confront half-salary deductions.


This latest development traces a pattern of contentious behavior from EFF representatives within parliamentary proceedings, marking the second instance of disciplinary intervention in recent months. The incident echoes the previous chastening of party leader Julius Malema and his cohort following turmoil during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address. Previous legal attempts by the EFF to overturn sanctions established this precedent for judicial dismissal, reinforcing the integrity of parliamentary protocol.


As the National Assembly braces for the dialogue and potential adoption of the committee's report, the spotlight remains affixed on the ongoing saga of parliamentary conduct and the implications of such disturbances on the legislative process within South Africa's democratic framework.



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