Presidency budget vote debate marred by disruptions, ejections

The Presidency budget vote debate resumed on Friday midday after the Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula resolved to eject disruptive members of the EFF from the house earlier in the day.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was preparing to respond to the budget vote he tabled on Thursday when a scuffle broke out in parliament’s chambers. The red berets, however, refused to be escorted by male security guards and alleged that they were being sexually harassed.

This after EFF MPs disrupted the proceedings and said they refuse to be addressed by “a criminal”, in reference to Ramaphosa’s failure to report a robbery at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo on February 9 2020.

It is alleged that criminals broke into the president’s farm and stole over $4-million (R62-million) which Ramaphosa allegedly failed to report to the police.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa was also disrupted from tabling the vote, and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said the president was in no position to address MPs because of the criminal allegations that were levelled against him by former spy boss Arthur Fraser last week.

The EFF had initially vowed to disrupt the sitting the minute Ramaphosa takes to the podium. During a media briefing on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema asked the president to step aside to allow for a fair investigation into the allegations levelled against him.

“Ramaphosa must first account for the bribery, kidnapping, and money-laundering charges against him,” said Malema, suggesting that Ramaphosa’s duties be handed over to his deputy, David Mabuza.

On Wednesday last week, Fraser opened criminal charges against Ramaphosa at the Rosebank police station. The charges emanate from the alleged theft of over millions of dollars allegedly concealed at the president’s farm.

Fraser said the president was in cahoots with “criminals” who were colluding with his domestic workers. “The president concealed the crime from the South African Police Service and/or South African Revenue Service and thereafter paid the culprits for their silence,” said Fraser.

The Presidency later confirmed that a robbery took place at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm, but denied Fraser’s claim that the president was involved in the missing “millions”.

Also read: Ramaphosa to table budget vote amid allegations of misconduct

Step aside immediately, Malema tells Ramaphosa

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