EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: REUTERS
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: REUTERS

EFF leader Julius Malema says that his party is seeking legal opinion on the legality of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Malema’s party members walked out just before the nomination and election of the president, saying Parliament was compromised. He said it had failed to hold former president Jacob Zuma accountable for violating his oath of office in the Nkandla matter. It was equally censured by a Constitutional Court judg ment for failing to hold the executive to account.

While this idea has not gained any traction beyond the EFF, the DA also called for the dissolution of Parliament saying it was the best way for the country to start on a clean slate.

The EFF members walked out saying they would not participate in the election of a president by a Parliament that did not carry ou t its constitutionally mandated responsibility to discipline an errant president.

"This Parliament is continuing to do illegal things. There is a judg ment that said this Parliament failed to execute its responsibilities and as a result we feel very strongly that this Parliament should follow Zuma," said Malema.

In an earlier media briefing, he said the EFF would allow Ramaphosa to deliver the State of the Nation Address on Friday, but said the party expected the new president to remove Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

"We have already instructed our lawyers to look at the legal implications of what these guys are doing here and whether or not we can approach the court to insist that this Parliament must dissolve and then we get a fresh mandate," he said.

Malema said Gigaba introduced the rot in the parastatals when he headed the public enterprises department. He could therefore not be trusted to clean up that mess.

"You have to remove Malusi Gigaba, Ramaphosa. The budget he delivers will be that of Zuma’s Cabinet. If he wants to legitimise that budget he will be legitimising a budget of thieving."

Constitutional expert Lawson Naidoo told Business Day that efforts to have Parliament dissolved over Ramaphosa’s election were opportunistic.

"The EFF did take this matter to court and the judg ment ruled that the proper impeachment processes didn’t exist and the Parliament itself is indeed working at exerting itself in this regard," said Naidoo.

He said Parliament was already going through the process of setting the parameters for the impeachment of a sitting president and any legal action to invalidate Parliament would be difficult to sell without leapfrogging that process.