21 August 2014

South Africa: EFF's Protest in Parliament Is in Defence of the Constitution and Rule of Law

Photo: G Stolley/SAPA
President Jacob Zuma's residence in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal (file photo).

press release

Parliament Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters staged a protest today during a plenary sitting in which the President was suppose to respond to questions. The EFF did this because of three reasons:

President Zuma did not respond to the Public Protector's report and directive that public money was spent in his private home security upgrade and to that extant he must pay back.

President Zuma was asked by the EFF CIC Julius Malema in parliament as to when is he paying back the money as per the Public Protector's directive, but Zuma did not respond and chose to stick to the nonsense that the minister of the police must determine who is going to pay.

The Public Protector's report as a chapter nine institution is as per the constitution a supreme report whose directives must be duly complied with. Zuma's response should therefore be to say when will he be paying the money. Instead, he has insulted the intelligence of parliament and that of the Public Protector by saying the minister of the police must indicate as to who must pay the money.

The constitution places the report of the Public Protector above all other reports, and to disobey it is to undermine the very rule of law. All citizens, regardless of who they are, once ordered by the Public Protector to pay, they must comply.

The EFF cannot join the toothless tactics of parliamentary procedure when the very foundation of the rule of law is undermined by the executive. Parliament's duty must be to exercise its constitutional mandate of holding the executive accountable, which means the President must answer the question raised to him by the house. To suppress these questions through orders is a suppression of the very constitutional duty of holding the executive accountable.

The Public Protector has done her job; she has given time and a directives to the President, but the president has undermined all of this. He comes to parliament hoping to escape accountability through his majority in parliament and the ANC speaker. Under these conditions; the EFF protested.

Protest is a constitutional tool left to truth seekers who are not finding the truth on platforms provided by power. Protest is there, protected by the constitution when the very rule of law is being undermined, and by not responding as to when will he be paying the unduly spent money on his private residence Zuma has successfully undermined the rule of law as President of the republic.

EFF calls on all South Africans to unite in this cause and defend the country from being rendered lawless by Zuma. There is nowhere else, but in parliament where a President must humble himself and be answerable to the people.

The EFF also applauds members of the media who also protested, refusing to vacate the gallery in order to capture the EFF's protest to the end. These members of the media acted as the ears and eyes of the people when Parliament members were vacated, and parliament TV switched off so that our people cannot see when ANC protest police physically assault EFF MPs as they did to EFF members of the Gauteng Legislature.

EFF will not retreat on a simple plea to the executive: The President must provide the date in which he will be paying the money unduly spent in Nkandla as the Public Protector has directed.

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