“Respect court rulings on parliamentary statements or face a motion of no confidence.” This is the directive that the Economic Freedom Fighters, speaking through their leader Julius Malema, gave parliamentary speaker Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli.
Malema made these statements on Tuesday morning during a press briefing held in Johannesburg.
His demands come after new EFF MP Naledi Chirwa’s maiden speech was repeatedly interrupted by various members of the house, including Tsenoli, who demanded that Chirwa withdraw her statement that the government was complicit in the killing of students during the height of the Fees Must Fall protests.
Before her statement was flagged on a point of order, Chirwa said: “Your government, Mr President, is responsible for many and the most heinous of crimes – you jailed Khanya Cekeshe, you jailed Bonginkosi Khanyile and are complicit for the brutal murders of Benjamin Phehla, Bongani Madonsela, just because they asked for [the] free education that you promised them when they were still toddlers in 1994.”
“The house is also [seized] with an erratic, lunatic deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli who is biased, unruly and undermines court decisions on parliament,” exclaimed Malema.
“There is a standing court decision that the statement ‘the ANC government killed workers in Marikana’ is not unparliamentary. Yet Tsenoli, through his conduct forced an EFF MP during the Sona debate to withdraw this statement regardless of being told about the court decisions on the matter.”
The party has written to the joint rules committee about the matter asking them to submit Tsenoli to a disciplinary process and have him withdraw his ruling in the house.
“We must warn him that if he does not improve, that he too will be subjected to a motion of no confidence,” said Malema.
He expressed similar sentiments about Chair of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Amos Masondo, who was recently seen sleeping in parliament.
“We must express our deepest concern on the conduct of the chair of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, who sleeps during proceedings. During the debate on the State of the Nation Address, Amos Masondo kept dozing off from the chair leaving the proceedings unattended. The conduct will result in a motion of no confidence because the EFF will never allow parliament to be turned into a mockery by presiding officers who sleep on duty,” said Malema.