Pravin Gordhan. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The attack on public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan  comes from those who have something to hide in terms of corruption and malfeasance, deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa said on Thursday. 

This was after EFF disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fourth state of the nation address before walking out.

The address was set to start at 7pm on Thursday evening, but after an hour of constant points of order by EFF MPs, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise suspended the sitting. 

The red berets first demanded that former president FW De Klerk leave the National Assembly, which was followed by a repeated demand that Ramaphosa fire Gordhan. 

The EFF wants Ramaphosa to fire Gordhan over his handling of state-owned entities such as Eskom and SAA. The party has had its knives out for Gordhan since 2018.

Kodwa, speaking on behalf of the government, said neither Gordhan or De Klerk were going anywhere. 

He said the “drama” inside the House was an attempt to deny millions of South Africans the opportunity to listen to the president. 

“Some of them don't have water, some of them don't have electricity, many young people are unemployed. They … desire to listen tonight to hear from their president because they are looking to their president to inspire.”

Shortly after the joint sitting resumed, the EFF left the national assembly and all political parties were given the opportunity to comment on what had transpired, before Ramaphosa finally addressed the nation.  

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile said he believed the EFF was “misbehaving” by trying to take away from the real issues of the state of the nation.

“That’s uncalled for,” Mashatile said. He added that the ANC wanted to focus on the real issues, and that if the EFF wanted to debate the address they should do so. 

“So we are really not interested in their activities,” Mashatile said.

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