Pravin Gordhan. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

On Thursday, EFF MPs were forced to leave a parliamentary committee room after heckling public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan was set to deliver his budget vote address on Thursday afternoon when the EFF MPs started raising multiple points of order to stop him from speaking. They said the minister should not be allowed to address the committee as he was a “constitutional delinquent”.

Grace Borotho, house chair, asked the EFF MPs to leave the house after a few minutes of arguments on the matter.

It was after this that the matter escalated, with EFF MPs walking up to the podium where Gordhan stood. MPs from other opposition benches and from the ANC rose to defend him.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan attended a parliamentary debate on vote 9 [public enterprises] in Cape Town on July 11 2019. There was a tense stand-off as EFF MPs approached Gordhan, stopped and stood their ground, preventing him from speaking.

Plain clothes security officers were called in to push out the EFF MPs.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the behaviour of the EFF MPs was “probably one of the grossest violations of parliamentary privilege” that he had  ever seen.

He asked the house chair to refer all members involved to the appropriate forum to be charged with gross disorderly conduct. “We use arguments, not force,” Steenhuisen said.

His request was supported by all other parties present, which included the ANC, the IFP, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the National Freedom Party.

Steve Swart from the ACDP said the situation was aggravated by the “threatening attitude towards the minister”. He said the high level of threats had to be addressed.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan was whisked away from a podium in parliament as EFF MPs charged towards him in attempt to prevent him from delivering his departmental budget speech on July 11 2019. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: