EFF Parly disruption smacks of frustration

By IAfrica
In South Africa
Aug 23rd, 2014

JOHANNESBURG – The EFF’s disruption in parliament is borne of the opposition’s frustration with the ANC’s use of rules to shield the executive from accountability.

That’s the view of political analyst Ebrahim Fakir who believes the red berets’ strategy has some merit.

However, the ANC is warning that the EFF’s methods could fuel political intolerance.

If the ANC thought the EFF would be remorseful about the chaos that played out in the national assembly, all it had to do was call the party leader.

Julius Malema’s automated voicemail message plays out as follows: “We are not sorry for the inconvenience of the beneficiaries of the system. But this is a revolution. It is not a bed of roses. It’s a struggle between the future and the past. We have refused to submit. But chosen to fight for the economic freedom of our people. And we shall overcome. Salut!”

It’s the latest in the EFF’s campaign to challenge rules and procedures in the country’s legislatures. It follows MPs’ eviction from parliament two months ago. And the showdown at the Gauteng legislature last month.

Fakir believes it’s a sign of the opposition’s frustration: “Whether it’s the arms deal, whether it’s the landing of a private aeroplane at an air force base or whether it’s the use of public funds for public benefits, we haven’t been able to get answers.”

“Now this tactic I think is a useful one because it does attempt to place front and centre in the public mind issues which may have been put on the back burner or issues that have been so obfuscated and dispersed that you can’t really get to the meat of the matter.”

But Fakir has warned that the strategy may in the long run, undermine democratic institutions.

The ANC is so incensed that it’s issued no fewer than three media statements. All three warn that the EFF is provoking political intolerance, with dire consequences for democracy. But how the ruling party will adjust its strategy in response remains to be seen.

* eNCA’s Thulasizwe Simelane has the story – watch his video report in the gallery above.

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