South Africa: Budget Debate Homes in On the EFF's Behaviour, a Shortage of Cash and Much Unfinished Business

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Parliament has a long to-do list and not much money with which to do it, as its budget came in some R340-million short of the requested R3-billion. And there were harsh words for the EFF's disruptive behaviour.

Parliament's Budget vote debate -- one of seven such debates on Tuesday -- unfolded against the confirmation that the EFF's disruption of Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan's Budget vote speech last week Thursday had been referred for "consideration" to the Subcommittee on Physical Removal of Members from Chamber. The announcement was made in seven lines in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC), or Parliament's record of work.

References to that disruption cropped up in various debate contributions, but none as bluntly as from DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen who said that stopping someone from speaking in the House was "not a debate, neither is it an act of accountability (but) it is an act of thuggery and democratic sabotage". And that could not be tolerated, he cautioned, with a nod to history:

"We have seen the type of behaviour we witnessed last week: It was on full display in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic, where the National Socialist German Workers Party,...

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