Budget Speech 2017: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2017 budget speech started with a standing ovation and ended with a standing ovation.
In between the presentation of the well-crafted speech, it was glaring that the National Assembly had the quietest atmosphere it has never known for long.
However, the presentation wasn’t without any form interruption (a point of order) from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) bench.
EFF spokesperson Ndlozi Mbuyiseni led the interruption by raising a point of order immediately Gordhan made some introduction at the beginning of his speech.
The minister said: “I would like to thank the president and the deputy for guidance.”
His statement elicited cheers from ANC MPs but for EFF’s Ndlozi, there was nothing to be happy about. Thus, the reason why he objected the statement.
The fighter said Gordhan thanking Zuma is like “a springbok thanking a lion for passing all the other bucks and targeting it as its next meal”.
“There is no guidance that Zuma gives to this country,” Comrade Bae explained, as speaker Baleka Mbete tried to quell the disturbance.
He further disputed that the president has contributed any guidance in the proceedings.
Gordhan, who seems not to like trouble stopped abruptly on the way – looking shocked, confused, a little annoyed and slightly amused in less than five seconds.
Some South Africans took to Twitter and slammed Ndlozi for raising a senseless and clueless point of order. But the people’s bae was saved by the party’s national chairperson Dali Mpofu.
Mpofu argued that Ndlozi’s point of order was sensible because Zuma didn’t make any guidance in the budget. Hence, Gordhan lied.
Mbuyiseni's point was NOT frivolous:Pravin must show us even one word in the budget where Zuma gave "guidance"..You CAN'T lie to parliament!
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) February 23, 2017
Mpofu was also supported by a handful of his fans. Some of his fans simply responded that Gordhan was trying to be nice.
@AdvDali_Mpofu he's trying to be nice. We all know the truth.
— Howard Gluckman (@howardgluckman) February 23, 2017
@AdvDali_Mpofu he is jst following protocol nje…im sure deep down is saying 'sick son of a b%%
— Puuuty (@Puuuty2) February 22, 2017
Most memorable part of Gordhan’s budget presentation was the cold reception he received from four of his colleagues.
All Parliamentarians gave him a standing ovation except Bathabile Dlamini (minister of social development and leader of the ANC’s women’s league), Lindiwe Zulu (minister of small business development and former leader of the MKMVA), David Mahlobo (minister of state security and Zuma’s hatchet man) and Des van Rooyen (minister of cooperative governance and “the weekend special”)
They sat down. Dlamini staring ahead, Zulu on her phone, nose pulled up and lips pouting, Mahlobo laughing while Van Rooyen stared at others.
— Joshua Meshoe (@Its_JayTM) February 23, 2017