With the State of the Nation Address (Sona) set to take place at the National Assembly tonight, the EFF has announced its intention to abstain from the event.
This decision is in response to the Western Cape High Court’s recent decision to reject the party’s last-ditch attempt to overturn the suspension of its top leadership from Parliament.
Due to their disruption of the 2023 Sona, EFF leader Julius Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu, secretary-general Marshall Dlamini, EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo, and Vuyani Pambo were all suspended without pay for the month of February.
With placards in hand, the EFF leaders were seen walking up to the stage where President Cyril Ramaphosa was seated and interfering with his speech.
Application for interim interdict
They persisted in their disruption even after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, asked them to leave the chamber.
The EFF urgently applied for an interim interdict to stop parliament from enforcing new rules, but the high court rejected the application before the last-minute attempt to lift the suspension.
These rules aim to prevent interruptions during the annual Sona and allow for the removal of MPs engaging in disorderly conduct.
In response to the court’s decisions, the EFF announced on Thursday that all its members would not attend the esteemed sitting.
Sona activities are unconstitutional
“All EFF members of parliament will not participate in the 2024 Sona activities and programmes, as they are undemocratic and unconstitutional,” said the party.
“The so-called State of the Nation Address in 2024 is an extended caucus of the ANC.
“Partial participation in the Sona activities and programmes would imply that some of our members agree with the unlawful, undemocratic, and unconstitutional decisions of parliament to forbid and ban elected members of parliament.
“We will, therefore, not attend or participate in the ANC’s extended parliamentary caucus.”
Courts come under attack
The party went on to attack the courts, claiming they were biassed in favour of the president and the “racist white capitalist establishment”.
Citing numerous instances in which it claimed the courts failed to hold Ramaphosa accountable for alleged wrongdoing, it claimed that the judiciary was complicit in suppressing democracy and constitutional accountability.
“The recent ruling by the Western Cape High Court represents a suppression of democracy and constitutional accountability in South Africa,” said the EFF.
“The capture of the judiciary by politicians and narrow political purposes is abominable.”