The EFF on Thursday came out in defence of Floyd Shivambu following parliament’s decision to refer him to its disciplinary committee over his anti-Zuma remarks.
Parliament announced it had referred Shivambu to the committee for saying that President Jacob Zuma was the kind of leader who would assassinate his political opponents.
“One of the common traits of these people, they seek to enrich their families. They seek to undermine the rule of law. They prosecute and persecute their political opponents, including members of their own party.
“And when everything else has failed, they kill. They assassinate their opponents,” he said at the time.
Shivambu also said ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des van Rooyen were appointed by the Gupta family, a remark that drew the ire of National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.
Shivambu allegedly refused to withdraw both remarks.
The EFF said in a statement that it rejected the move by the speaker, which they said was a “deliberate suppression of free speech in parliament”.
“It is also an attempt to silence criticism of Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle as dictated to by the Gupta family who are Zuma’s business partners,” the party said.
“The speaker, by referring the EFF DP to the DC for what he said during a debate violates the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act and seeks to create a fear of parliamentary debates on Zuma.”
According to the act and Section 58 (1) (b) of the Constitution, Members of Parliament enjoy free speech and cannot be punished or held liable to civil and criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for the things they say in parliament.
The party also said in its statement that it stood by Shivambu’s remarks about Zuma, adding that the president was “using everything in his power, including killing all his critics who today keep silent within the ANC instead of challenging him”.
“We believe that as they attempt to wake up from their long dogmatic sleep, Zuma will kill them because he is willing to do everything in his power to crush those who create barriers to his looting of state resources.”
The EFF further took Mbete to task over her refusal to refer Zuma to the disciplinary committee as well as initiate impeachment proceedings against him while rushing to refer Shivambu for his utterances.
“This is clear evidence that Mbete is hellbent on exercising her duties as speaker from the point of view of ANC National Chairperson; she is biased and only protects Zuma.
“ This is why the EFF has been calling for her removal from the beginning of the fifth democratic parliament. Her decision to charge the DP of EFF is legally invalid and it is tainted with bias based improper political motives.”
Shivambu’s anti-Zuma remarks referred to disciplinary committee
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