The deputy president of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa’s question and answer session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was held up on Wednesday when the members of the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) complained and protested about the removal of Tebogo Mokwele, a member of the EFF from the parliament the previous week. As a result, the session was delayed.
This follows the removal of Mokwele from the legislature the previous week after her refusal to leave the parliament following being asked to do so by the deputy chair, Mr Raseriti Tau, who had ruled her to be out of order. Tau resorted to calling in security officers to evict Mokwelo. The end result was that this led to Mokwele creating a scene when she was observed tussling with security officers when she turned a deaf ear to an instruction by the sergeant-at-arms. This could, unfortunately not be caught on camera as the cameras have been instructed to turn to the speaker if ever there is commotion in any of the houses.
When Ramaphosa was due to hold a question and answer session in the NCOP, the members of the EFF protested and prevented him from conducting his session in protest against the handling of Mokwele’s case. Together with Mokwele, the EFF lawmakers gathered outside the gates of the parliament, barring the session from taking place. Speaking during this protest, the subject of the protest, Mokwele, said, “As a woman, I need to be protected from the officer presiding. I need an assurity that whenever I interact with the deputy president regarding his accountabilty, I won’t be assaulted again.” However, the deputy speaker, Tau, would not give Mokwele the assurance she desired. Instead, he told Mokwele that she would be ‘protected under the law’.