ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has laid a complaint against EFF leader Julius Malema for urging foreign nationals to “find a creative way” of entering South Africa.
Mashaba announced on Monday that he had written to Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise on the matter because Malema had “breached his oath of office as a member of Parliament.”
Addressing a press conference last week, Malema criticised the government for closing some land ports in response to rising COVID-19 cases.
He said, “So, let the borders be open and if the gates are not going to be open for SADC [Southern African Development Community], fellow SADC people, please find a creative way. This is your home. Your families are here. There is no way anyone is gong to close you out here.”
Malema is ‘advocating unlawful conduct’
In an affidavit, Mashaba said Malema’s comments “essentially incites foreign nationals to illegally cross the border into South Africa without going through the legal processes for entry into South Africa.”
He added, “What Malema is advocating for is unlawful conduct, which is completely unacceptable for a sitting member of Parliament. Furthermore, it is my contention that the conduct of Malema is a breach of the Code of Conduct: Ethics and Members Interests.”
Among others, the Code enjoins MPs, by virtue of the oath or affirmation of allegiance they take, to uphold the law.
The ActionSA leader contended that Malema had “incited foreign nationals to break the law” and had therefore failed to uphold the law.
“It is particularly dangerous and irresponsible to call for illegal immigration during a global pandemic, where a second wave of infections has overwhelmed our hospitals,” he added in a series of tweets.
EFF’s reaction to Mashaba’s complaint was swift. The party’s Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, warned Mashaba against adopting “this kind of liberal right wing politics.”
“Your political life will be very difficult and your party lifespan short-lived if you adopt the ultra-right self-hating politics. Stay away from the EFF; many who tried are nowhere to be seen now. First warning!” he tweeted.
However, Mashaba wasn’t deterred. “I have never responded well to bullies. Calling for illegal immigration is wrong. Calling for illegal immigration during a pandemic, with South African hospitals overflowing, is disgusting,” he replied.