The EFF’s new member of parliament was sworn in at the National Assembly in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Yoliswa Yako, a former provincial spokeswoman, replaces Dutywa-born Vuyokazi Kethabahle, who resigned last month.
In her first speech in parliament on Tuesday, Yako addressed the plight of those incarcerated during the “fees must fall” protest.
She questioned why students arrested during the “fees must fall” protests were still being held in the same prisons as hardened criminals.
“Not only have we criminalised and sent students to jail, but hundreds have been suspended from institutions of higher learning, some with a lifetime ban,” Yako said.
“What kind of society do we want when we put students who have excelled in prison with hardened criminals?
“What kind of society do we want when we deny students free education when it is only education that can make them adults?”
Yako, who has had a rapid rise in the EFF, has served the party in a number of capacities, including as councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and as party provincial spokeswoman.
She was elected chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) this year. Provincial co-ordinator Yazini Tetyana said the Eastern Cape EFF was proud of their new member of parliament and wished her well in her new journey.
“We are truly proud when we see our colleagues moving up the ladder,” said Tetyana.