The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have faced a series of setbacks in their court battle to prevent parliament from implementing new rules against disrupting the president’s state of the nation address (Sona) through points of order.
EFF leader Julius Malema expressed his frustration, stating, “We fought with Jacob Zuma, Zuma has never banned us from going to parliament.”
However, Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, along with four others, have been suspended for the entire month of February, effectively barring them from attending the upcoming Sona.
The EFF’s attempts to suspend chapter 2 of parliament’s joint rules, which prohibit interruptions during the president’s address, were dismissed by the Western Cape High Court.
The party believes these rules specifically target their members and prevent them from attending the Sona. During Jacob Zuma’s presidency, the EFF gained notoriety for heckling him over various scandals, including the infamous “pay back the money” chant regarding the taxpayer-funded upgrades to his private home.
In 2023, Malema, Shivambu, and other EFF members disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona by walking onto the stage with placards demanding his resignation over the “Phala Phala” scandal.
As a result, they received sanctions. However, even EFF members permitted to attend the address will now be unable to disrupt Ramaphosa’s speech due to the ban imposed by the president.
Malema believes that the ban is a result of the EFF’s demand for land expropriation without compensation. He argued that those in power fear equality and are fighting against the EFF’s pursuit of it.
Malema stated, “They hate the EFF for demanding the land because they know once you give Africans the land, they are equal with them. They said the EFF is dangerous, disruptive — no, they are fighting the EFF because the EFF is fighting for equality and they don’t want equality.”