South Africa’s Parliament on Monday vowed to thwart any attempt to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in mid-February.
In a statement, the Presiding Officers of Parliament, led by National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo, cautioned against Members of Parliament making public threats to disrupt the business of Parliament.
The Presiding Officers would not lose any sleep over such threats, the statement said.
This came after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema threatened over the weekend to disrupt Ramaphosa’s SONA if he doesn’t remove Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.
“We will stand up there, we will stop him (Ramaphosa) from speaking. We will tell him he must fire Pravin because we must protect South Africa’s asset,” Malema said on Sunday.
The EFF accuses Gordhan of stealing from the state coffers in collaboration with the controversial Indian Gupta family, whose prominent members are wanted by South African law enforcement agencies.
In response to the threat, the Presiding Officers of Parliament said there exists appropriate mechanism to ensure that no disruption takes place.
Such perennial threats ahead of key parliamentary programs are objectionable and an unnecessary distraction to the institution’s commitments to South Africans, the statement said.
“The complex challenges confronting our country requires capable public representatives who endeavor to strengthen Parliament’s Constitutional function of fearless oversight over the Executive, not impede its work,” said the statement. Enditem