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WATCH | Julius Malema could be banned from Sona 2024 if found guilty of gross disorderly conduct

EFF leader Julius Malema and five other EFF MPs could be suspended from parliament for 10 days in 2024, if the powers and privileges committee finds them guilty of disturbing the state of the nation address (Sona) earlier this year.

“The Sona 2023 incident,” according to parliament, “relates to six members of the EFF: Mr Julius Malema, Mr Floyd Shivambu, Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Mr Marshall Dlamini, Mr Sinawo Tambo, and Mr Vuyani Pambo, who disregarded the ruling of the speaker of the National Assembly ordering them to leave the chamber. Instead of leaving, they crossed the floor and jumped onto the stage at Cape Town City Hall, where President Cyril Ramaphosa was to deliver the Sona.

“The speaker then had to suspend proceedings and called on the security services to remove them. All six EFF members now face charges constituting contempt of parliament in terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004.”

Parliament-appointed initiator, advocate Anton Katz, made submissions to suspend the affected members for 10 days during February 2024, to prevent them from attending next year’s Sona event.

“We are also going to submit that the appropriate sanction is to suspend the members for 10 days, starting on February 6 2024 and finishing on February 16 2024. The reason for those 10 days is because on February 8 2024, I am informed, is when Sona 2024 will take place.

Members of the EFF stormed the stage, charging towards President Cyril Ramaphosa, in an attempt to disrupt the 2023 state of the nation address in Cape Town City Hall.
Members of the EFF stormed the stage, charging towards President Cyril Ramaphosa, in an attempt to disrupt the 2023 state of the nation address in Cape Town City Hall.
Image: REUTERS/Esa Alexander

“It is clear that the six affected members do not take Sona seriously. They disrupted, they violated the dignity and the decorum of the sacred sitting of the joint-sitting of both houses of parliament, when the president was reporting back to the people’s representatives, the judiciary, the chief justice, the heads of court, former presidents and foreign dignitaries. They took it as an opportunity to take on the president.

“That same president will be delivering Sona in 2024 and the message needs to be sent that Sona is a serious event in the life of the republic. We submit that an appropriate sanction would be for those six affected members to miss out on Sona 2024.

“They created and took part in a disturbance in the precinct. It cannot be clearer that to jump on a stage after one has been ordered to leave the house ... is gross disorderly conduct,” Katz said.

Katz also submitted that Malema and the members should be made to apologise to President Ramaphosa, the speaker and the people of South Africa for their conduct.

“How the apology is done, is something the committee could decide on,” said Katz.

On Monday Malema said he would not be persecuted by a white man — Anton Katz — and ordered his legal team to walk out of the proceedings after their application for a postponement was denied by the chairperson of the committee.

The committee continued proceedings as the members in question do not have to be present if they choose not to be.

TimesLIVE


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