Parliament has apologized to the public for the “distasteful scenes” that occurred during last week’s budget vote debate sittings, which saw EFF members dragged out.
The debate was postponed after EFF MPs delivered on the opposition party’s promise to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempt to deliver the presidency budget, raising multiple points of order.
With regular interjections on the virtual platform, party members were backed up by leader Julius Malema and the rest of the party’s caucus.
Parliament apologized to the public and people around the world for witnessing some MPs engage in “disorderly and disruptive conduct” to prevent the budget vote from being presented.
“Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula condemns in the strongest terms the conduct of MPs, particularly those of the EFF, for their disregard of the rules, the decorum of the house and the authority of the speaker as provided for in the rules of the house,” parliament said in a statement.
“Through their conduct, the EFF MPs also disrupted and interfered with the rights of the rest of the MPs to participate and hold the president to account regarding how his department has spent the previous budget and will implement programmes that will improve the socioeconomic situation in the country, including the fight against the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which affect the lives of many South Africans.”
— Athi Mtongana (@Artii_M) June 10, 2022
Two parliamentary chamber protection services staff were assaulted during the forceful removal of rowdy MPs from the chamber, according to Parliament, and are receiving medical attention.
Parliament stated that it takes oversight of the executive, including the president, seriously and will always ensure that MPs’ constitutional rights are protected. “However, the kind of conduct displayed is obstructive to the business of the house and impedes the ability of the institution to oversee the actions of the executives and hold them to account.”
Parliament also took note of allegations of gender-based violence (GBV) and alleged mistreatment of MPs by parliamentary protection services while performing chamber duties.
“These will be looked into. Parliament will look into the conduct of the members involved with a view to determine any further actions that may be taken.”