When the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters promised that he would bring fireworks into parliament, he was talking literally and he seems to be keeping to his word. He has decided to take embattled chairperson of the National Council of Provinces to court over his ejection from parliament, his party has confirmed.
The firebrand leader of South Africa’s latest political child, the EFF, Julius Malema, was ordered to leave parliament earlier this month following a comment he made about the ANC having massacred the people of Marikana. What angered Thandi Modise, the chairperson of the NCOP, was that he flatly refused to retract the statement he had made. Thandi had declared that Malema’s remarks were unparliamentary and that it did not accord with the decorum of the House. Juju was referring to the incident in August, 2012 when more than 34 miners were shot dead by the police during a strike in the North West platinum area.
In his comment on the incident, Malema said the ANC had massacred these miners to which Modise ruled that the statement suggested that government deliberately massacred the Marikana workers. According to Modise, Malema’s statement accuses the government of murder. She therefore called on ‘Honorable Malema’ to withdraw his statement. Instead of making this withdrawal as directed, Malema went on to try and justify it by asking why it was that when statistics showed that the crime rate decreased, the ANC government connsidered itself to be doing a good job, but they had a problem when he said the ANC government killed the Marikana workers. This irked the chairperson and she ordered the EFF president to leave the house and ensure that he closed the door.
On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that, in court papers filed with the Western Cape High Court last week, Malema claimed Modise’s ruling was unlawful because his statements fell under the protection of the constitution. Confirming his party’s position on the matter, the spokesman of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said that, as a party, the EFF, felt that what had happened in parliament had been clearly suppression of the truth that needed to be said as well as their leader’s fundamental right which was enshrined in the constitution.