Africa-Press – South-Africa. Tyranny” is how EFF national spokesperson and MP Sinawo Tambo described the seven parliamentary misconduct charges against him for creating “serious disorder” during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s budget vote in June last year.
During that meeting, EFF MPs fired a torrent of points of order – shouting that they did not want to be addressed by a “money launderer” and “criminal” – when Ramaphosa took to the podium as a response to party leader Julius Malema’s call to disrupt the president’s public appearances.
Malema’s call followed revelations that Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm was robbed of millions of rand in foreign currency in what the EFF leader said was a breach of the president’s oath of office, alleging that Ramaphosa was embroiled in money laundering.
“Everywhere and anywhere we find or see Ramaphosa, and we have an opportunity to stop him from speaking in the name of South Africa, we will do so. We call upon all the fighters and the ground forces to start treating Ramaphosa as such,” Malema had said.
Tambo and his colleagues enacted Malema’s demands, leading to them being physically removed from the National Assembly after repeatedly ignoring Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s pleas for the EFF to stop its heckling and her subsequent call for the MPs to leave the House.
More than a year later, those actions have seen Tambo being slapped with seven charges by the Powers and Privileges of Parliament Committee, which stated in its charge sheet that Tambo’s conduct “disrupted the proceedings of the National Assembly and improperly interfered with the performance by the House of its authority and functions”.
It added that Tambo could not substantiate his allegations that Ramaphosa was “a criminal”.
The charges read:
Responding to News24’s questions on Saturday, Tambo confirmed that he had received the charges, but he dismissed them as “a display that the office of the president of South Africa is occupied by a tyrant who has weaponised organs of [the] state to deal with his political enemies”.
“It is a sad day in South Africa and for our democracy when holding a sitting president accountable is characterised as orchestrating ‘chaos’. It’s tyranny, but we aren’t scared; they must bring it on,” he charged.
His case will be heard on 13 October when, according to the charge sheet, Tambo will be provided with video footage and transcripts of his alleged transgressions.