The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters in the Mpumalanga province was raising a point of order during the Taking Legislature to the People, disrupting Premier David Mabuza.
EFF provincial chairman Collen Sedibe has been booed, heckled and told to sit down by the hundreds of community members who attended the Taking Legislature to the People.
Sedibe, who is a member of the Mpumalanga legislature together with EFF provincial secretary Alfred Skhosana, had wanted to ask Mabuza to respect a ruling made by speaker Thandi Shongwe. The legislature was with the people of Mhluzi the whole of last week (13 – 17 Mar) at the Themba Senamela stadium, Middelburg and on Friday morning Mabuza addressed the public sitting.
After minutes of addressing, Mabuza was disrupted by Skhosana, who rose on a point of order, asking the Premier to not make the Taking Legislature to the People about the ANC.
Mabuza, during the Taking Legislature to the People, had said that people should not join or form other political parties because the ruling ANC “encompasses all that is good” when he triggered Skosana to rise on a point of order.
Mabuza had said: “It’s important that we remain patient, let’s not fight each and open other political parties simply because we are impatient with the ANC. I always say that the ANC encompasses all that is good”.
Skhosana rose and said to Shongwe: “Speaker, I rise on a point of order”.
Shongwe asked Mabuza to stop his speech and asked Skhosana: “What’s the point of order honourable Skhosana?”
“Thanks speaker, I think there’s a mistake that the Premier is making and I won’t agree that he goes unchallenged. The Premier indicated clearly here that we are here as legislature but then at the same time we’re here to use this platform to campaign, now I want to indicate clearly that we are not here for that; we can’t use our selfish interest and state resources to advance our narrow interest, let’s concentrate on why we’re here and leave this other things of the ANC, we’re here as government,” Skhosana said.
Shongwe made a ruling, telling Mabuza that “he says you must not campaign, can you please go on with your speech”.
When the Premier returned to the podium he sought to “assist” Skhosana by telling him, to thunderous applause, that as Premier he never “dropped from the sky”.
“I’m a Premier who was elected by the African National Congress and I’m not here by mistake,” Mabuza said to thunderous applause, which triggered Sedibe to also rise on a point of order.
“Speaker, thank you honourable speaker,” Sedibe said after Shongwe had pointed at him however the community members wouldn’t allow him to speak.
Sedibe was booed and heckled as Shongwe repeatedly called for order and asked the community members to be patient and listen to honourable Sedibe.
“I’ll wait for them to finish singing, I’ll wait,” said Sedibe as the community members continued to boo him.
He said he thought Shongwe would make a ruling on Skhosana’s point of order, to which Shongwe answered: “I did, I did”.
Mabuza apologised to those who viewed his speech as campaigning for the ANC but said he was shocked because he got criticism as Premier of an ANC government but was not allowed to answer as such.
“If I’m being perceived to be campaigning I apologise,” he said.
After the sitting, Mabuza went to straight to Skhosana and Sedibe to talk to them.
Asked what was Mabuza saying to them, Sedibe told 013NEWS: “We were talking about the issue of him campaigning during the Taking Legislature to the People.
“He was of the view that we were interjecting him and we said ‘No, no, we were not interjecting you. You made a mistake that it was everybody’s right that when they are here they must campaign because were cannot use the legislature’s funds to campaign.
“If you want to campaign, let’s wear our own T-shirts, let’s wear our own regalia and have our own machinery and campaign as usual but not here, here we are here as government, we’re equal and let’s treat people equal and so forth,” he said.
(edited by ZK)
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