Six EFF MP's to miss SONA2024 following suspension

The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday struck off the roll an EFF application to overturn the suspension of some of their MPs who disrupted the State of the Nation Address in 2023

In November, Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee ordered six EFF MPs, including party leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu, to apologise to President Cyril Ramaphosa for disrupting his State of the Nation Address in February. Other sanctioned MPS include Marshall Dlamini, Sinawo Tambo, Vuyani Pambo, and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.


They were also ordered to apologise to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Parliament and the public.

The committee also ordered that all six MPs have one month's salary docked in February.

The MPs were found guilty of being in contempt of Parliament after they crossed the floor and jumped onto the podium where Ramaphosa was speaking. The party was protesting what they believed to be a cover-up by Ramaphosa over the money stolen from his Phala Phala farm.

The suspensions of the six EFF members are effective from 1 February to 29 February. This means the MPs will miss the State of the Nation Address, scheduled for 8 February.

Parliament welcomed the Court's decision.

‘’We concur with the majority judgement that the responsibility lies with the applicant, in this case, the EFF, to ensure that they adhere to court rules and have a well-prepared case that is ripe for hearing. The EFF's imposed unreasonable timeframes and their filing on midnight before the next court day not only inconvenienced Parliament and the Court but also indicated their lack of readiness for their application to be heard,’’ said Moloto Mothapo, Parliament spokesperson.

The EFF's application was dismissed with costs.

In response to the suspension, the EFF has accused the Western Cape High Court of intimidation and protecting the government from accountability.

"The initially peaceful protest at the SONA of 2023 stemmed from serious allegations against Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the discovery of large amounts of foreign cash concealed in his furniture, which eventually unfolded into what is now known as the Phala Phala scandal,” says spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.

“The EFF was and remains deeply concerned about the lack of adequate investigation and subsequent accountability regarding this discovery that was coupled with numerous illegal activity in attempts to recover what was stolen illicit currency.”

The party has also questioned the timing of the ruling and the National Assembly’s move to suspend them during the same month as the State of the Nation is due to take place.

"The timing of this suspension, specifically choosing February 2024 to exclude our members from the upcoming SONA, is particularly nefarious. This move appears to be a calculated attempt to ensure that Ramaphosa can deliver his final SONA without facing scrutiny from the EFF. It is, therefore, evident that the ANC-led government is resorting to vindictive measures to silence opposition voices and evade accountability for their failures.”

Thambo says all MPs attending SONA will ensure that Ramaphosa is held accountable.

"These include the rampant unemployment statistics, rising crime rates, gender-based violence and the Phala Phala farm scandal, which was the primary reason for our initial protest. The EFF will not be deterred in our mission to hold the government accountable and fight for the interests of the people," he added.


Done By: Mitchum George


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