The ANC has called on parliament to act decisively against EFF MPs who threatened Pravin Gordhan in parliament on Thursday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
The ANC has called on parliament to act decisively against EFF MPs who threatened Pravin Gordhan in parliament on Thursday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Parliament must act decisively against the acts of physical intimidation displayed by EFF MPs against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

This was the call made by the ANC on Friday following a tense stand-off in parliament on Thursday.

EFF MPs approached the podium in an attempt to prevent Gordhan from delivering his department’s budget speech. The MPs were then ejected from parliament and Gordhan delivered his speech.

The ANC said the actions of the EFF flew in the face of the country’s democratic culture and ethos, of which parliament was its highest embodiment.

“Instead of winning support for their views in this forum through debate and deliberation, they opted in their usual fashion to use intimidation and undermine the decorum of parliament,” ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said.

Mabe said all MPs, including members of the executive, should be able to express themselves and to engage on the matters that concerned all citizens without having to fear acts of physical intimidation.

“Comrade Pravin Gordhan, an ANC deployee, like any other member of parliament, must be protected from physical intimidation so that he is able to fulfil his duties as public representative and minister.

“The ANC calls on all parties to defend the dignity and decorum of the house and attend to instances of chaos and anarchy without fear or favour,” Mabe said.

The Helen Suzman Foundation condemned the behaviour of the members of the EFF in the strongest possible way. 

“This sort of conduct, which by any standards amounts to gross intimidation, has no place in our parliament or our society.

“We call on the speaker of parliament to take the necessary steps to ensure that those responsible for this outrageous behaviour are severely censured, and that the rules of parliament are adhered to by all members,” the foundation’s director Francis Antonie said.