The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Sello Malema is considering resigning from Parliament together with his colleagues.
He also hopes to embark on the Parliamentary exodus alongside the Democratic Alliance (DA).
In an interview on Friday with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the leader of the South African revolutionary socialist party disclosed that he has been in talks with the DA to discuss the en masse resignation of EFF and DA MPs.
He explained that the decision to withdraw from Parliament will be the last resort; adding that their resignation could force fresh elections in the country. If EFF and DA resign, Malema also believes Parliament will be dissolved.
He said: “If we combine the EFF numbers and the DA numbers and we resign from Parliament, then this thing is no longer a properly constituted Parliament.”
Malema said the EFF is still weighing its options and still fighting from within Parliament, adding that the plan will definitely work in the near future even if it doesn’t survive now.
“Maybe we might come to a conclusion where we resign and then once Parliament does not reach its quorum as prescribed in the Constitution, we can approach the Constitutional Court to instruct the Speaker to dissolve Parliament and for the president to declare elections,” he said.
Asked how long they would take to make the decision, Julius Sello Malema said it would take time.
“A revolution is not like a birthday party, you have to work for it, you have to ensure that everybody else is convinced and that there is no longer an option but to resign from Parliament.”
While the interview lasted, various topics including the outcome of the local government elections last year and the EFF’s decision to vote in the DA in some municipalities were extensively discussed.
He also disclosed that the EFF are currently pursuing all options, including approaching the Constitutional Court, to force Parliament to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable.
Meanwhile, the DA has denied that it has been discussing with the EFF about resigning from Parliament.
“No. It’s not true,” James Selfe, chairperson of the federal executive of the DA said.
Political analysts in the country have also downplayed Malema’s plans to quit Parliament.
Analyst De Vos admitted that if the EFF and other opposition parties quit parliament, there would be a crisis of legitimacy, but parliament “will go on, albeit in a way that is less legitimate”.
“I really have no idea why [the EFF] are proposing this. That is not going to happen because the ANC has a majority. A vote of 201 out of 400 would be required.
Constitutionally it’s not going to make any difference whatsoever. Parliament only needs one-third of its members to form a quorum. It needs 50% of its members to pass legislation … and the ANC has that majority, so that’s going to continue,” De Vos said.
Last month, during a press briefing in Braamfontein, Julius Sello Malema said he believes Parliament has failed in its constitutional mandate because of the ANC’s conduct and believes it should be dissolved.
“I want to resign from Parliament and do more work on the ground. But my worry is that if we leave Parliament, they [the ANC] will destroy it. We are there to guard against such tendencies,” he said at the time.
Watch Malema’s interview with SABC