The National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete confirmed on Monday that Parliament has taken a penal action against some Members of Parliament (MPs) for deflating the glory and standard of South Africa’s Parliament on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Mbete, alongside the National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise made known the development in Parliament’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee [ATC] reports, published on Monday morning.
Top on the list of the malefactors is Congress of the People (Cope) MP Willie Madisha, who was first removed by Parliament bouncers after he tried to explain to Chairperson of the House, Thandi Modise that she was out of order and was not following the rules.
However, he was asked to take a seat or leave the house. Not willing to leave without having said his mind, Madisha slammed Zuma and subsequently labeled him “a thief from the streets.” He was immediately bundled out.
Next on the list are the members of South Africa’s third biggest party – the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Of course, we are well aware that the fighters’ removal birthed other walkouts from some opposition groups, especially members of the Democratic Alliance (DA). In fact, it is safe to say that the Malema-led party is the chief distractor of the 2017 SONA – like in previous years.
During this year’s SONA, members of the EFF brought the standard and excellence of Parliament into disrepute when they fought back Parliament security agents invited to kick them out for calling President Jacob a “delinquent president” and refusing to let him address the house.
The aftermath of the brawl left eight protection services officials wounded, according to Parliament.
Confirming that the removed MPs have been referred to Joint Rules Committee, Mbete and Modise jointly explained in the report that: “The circumstances of the physical removal of Mr W M Madisha (Cope) and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters from the Joint Sitting during the state-of-the-nation address on Thursday, 09 February 2017, together with the unrevised Hansard, minutes and a video recording of the proceedings in question have been referred to the Joint Rules Committee in terms of Joint Rule 14GA (13) for consideration.”
BuzzSouthAfrica found out that the removed MPs will be suspended for five working days, according to Parliamentary rules.
Also, during the time of their suspension, they will not be allowed to enter the precincts of Parliament until the suspension ends.
Meanwhile, reports have it an inter-divisional committee saddled with the responsibility of investigating various allegations around the brawl has been established by Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlana.
He is due to submit a report on the matter to Parliament this week.
The State of the Nation Address (SONA) started in 2008 with President Thabo Mbeki. And since Zuma took over, he has often been an eye in the storm, creating more revolt in Parliament than the country has ever seen in its political history.
This explains why the EFF vowed to bring the man with the heavy burden of alleged corruptions to his knees this year, stressing that he has no moral rights to be the country’s number one citizen.
But, sadly, they were shamefully removed while Zuma remained unsubdued and unfazed by the whole drama. If you were a keen observer during the fighters’ removal, you will agree that his occasional chuckle said it all.