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Politics Editors Choice

EFF MPs to stay away from Sona after failed court bid to lift suspensions

Members of the EFF are evicted from the 2023 state of the nation address at parliament on February 9 2023 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams)
Members of the EFF are evicted from the 2023 state of the nation address at parliament on February 9 2023 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams)
Image: Jeffrey Abrahams

The EFF has decided to boycott the state of the nation address on Thursday.

This follows a failed court bid to overturn the suspension of six EFF leaders barred from attending the opening of parliament.

“All EFF MPs will not participate in the 2024 Sona activities and programme as these are undemocratic and unconstitutional and the so-called Sona is an extended caucus of the ANC,” the party said in a statement.

EFF leader Julius Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu, the party's secretary-general Marshall Dlamini and MPs Sinawo Tambo, Vuyani Pambo and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were sanctioned for disrupting the 2023 Sona. They walked onto the stage at the beginning of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech with placards demanding he step down over the Phala Phala scandal.

“Partial participation in the 2024 Sona activities and programme would imply that some of our members agree with the unlawful, undemocratic, and unconstitutional decisions of parliament to forbid and banish elected MPs,” the party said.

On Thursday, just hours before the Sona, the Western Cape High Court dismissed the EFF MPs’ bid to overturn the suspension citing failure to show good reasons they would suffer real harm and prejudice.

However, the EFF accused the court of turning into a “defence mob” for Ramaphosa, adding that the party will appeal against the decision “to ensure there is no legal precedent that permits parliament to forbid elected MPs from holding the executive to account”.

The decision to suspend the six EFF members, taken in December, is effective from February 1 to 29.

The EFF said it would now focus on its manifesto launch, to be held on Saturday, and “election work will rescue South Africa from the undemocratic and unconstitutional rulings of parliament and the courts”.

TimesLIVE


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