What You Need to Know:
Six MP’s belonging to South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party have been barred by the Western Cape High Court from attending the State of the Nation Address in February.
The ban was initially placed by the Powers and Privileges Committee in November 2023, nine months after Malema and five other members stormed the stage where President Cyril Ramaphosa was giving his address.
The members include EFF leader Julius Malema, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Floyd Shimbavu, Marshall Dlamini, Sinawo Tambo and Vuyani Pambo.
In addition to the initial ruling, the members were ordered to personally apologize to the President, House Speaker, the people of South Africa as well as ‘any person determined by the house.’
The six also did not receive pay for the month of February.
According to SABC News, EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo has stated, “The suspension of members of Parliament of the EFF is simply to ensure that he is not held accountable for his failings. It is his last State of the Nation Address, and they want him to have a peaceful one because they think that if they suspend the commander in chief, the president of the EFF, they are going to have a peaceful State of the Nation Address. It’s not going to be possible, members of parliament of the Economic Freedom Fighters are going to be part and parcel of SONA.”
However, a spokesperson for South Africa’s Parliament claimed, “The EFF’s imposed and unrealistic time frames and filing on midnight before the next court day not only inconvenienced Parliament and the court, but it also indicated their lack of readiness for their application to be heard. The EFF’s application was dismissed with costs and the suspension of its members is effective from Thursday the 1st of February to the 29th of February 2024.”