The forceful removal of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPLs from Eastern Cape’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Tuesday has left EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi fuming.
According to DispatchLIVE, speaker of the Eastern Cape legislature Helen Sauls-August got into a heated exchange with the MPLs over complaints that they were not appropriately dressed in their red overalls.
She asked them to leave the legislature, but they refused, prompting her to call in security personnel to forcefully eject them.
‘A sign of self-hate’
Reacting to the incident on Twitter, Ndlozi accused the African National Congress (ANC) of showing “hatred” for the red overalls.
He said, “The hatred and disgust ANC shows to EFF red overalls is a perfect sign of their own self-hate. How can people voted for by domestic, garden, mine, farm, petrol and security workers hate overalls so much that they are willing to mete out VIOLENCE just to keep parliament looking ELITE!”
In another tweet, Ndlozi added, “Nothing is more unconstitutional than removing public representatives voted for by hundreds of thousands of people simply because you don’t like how they are dressed.
“The right to hold public office belongs in Bill of Rights 19.3(a). Without it, ours would cease to be a democracy!”
‘We seek to decolonise ourselves’
Fellow EFF MP and former Secretary General Godrich Gardee also slammed the unceremonious ejection of the MPLs.
He tweeted, “Someone needs to explain what proper attire is for a legislature. In our own New Democratic society where we seek to decolonise ourselves and release ourselves from an oppressive system, what is [the] appropriate attire in the Eastern Cape Legislature?”
In a statement, the EFF also said removing the MPLs on the basis of their red overalls was “foolish” and “nonsensical.”
“These are the same overalls that the EFF wears in the National Assembly and for arms of government beneath the National Assembly to attempt to enforce ridiculous dress codes not only reveals ideological inferiority, but [also] a gross misreading of laws that govern legislatures,” the party said.
This is the second eviction of EFF MPLs following a similar incident during North West’s SOPA on Friday.
Security officials were called to remove the MPLs after they repeatedly interrupted Premier Job Mokgoro’s address. The EFF later said two MPLs had laid assault charges against the officials.