WATCH | 'Zuma never banned us from going to parliament', Malema fumes ahead of Sona

06 February 2024 - 17:59
By Zimasa Matiwane
EFF leader Julius Malema addressing students at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU EFF leader Julius Malema addressing students at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi.

Jacob Zuma “nostalgia” has hit the EFF after their failed court bid to stop parliament from implementing new rules against disrupting the president’s state of the nation address (Sona) through points of order.

“We fought with [Jacob] Zuma, Zuma has never banned us from going to parliament,” said EFF leader Julius Malema. 

Parliament has already suspended Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu and four others for the whole of February, effectively barring them from attending the Sona on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the EFF suffered another loss when the Western Cape High Court dismissed the party's urgent application to suspend chapter 2 of parliament’s joint rules, which provide that “no member may interrupt the president while [he is] delivering the state of the nation address”.

Previously, the EFF in opposing the joint rules, said it believed they were just a ploy to target its members and prevent them from attending the Sona.

During Zuma’s last term as president, the EFF was notorious for heckling him at every opportunity over his many scandals, including the famous “pay back the money” chant in relation to millions of rand worth of upgrades to his private home paid for by taxpayers.

Malema, Shivambu, EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini and EFF MPs Sinawo Tambo, Vuyani Pambo and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi earned sanctions for disrupting the Sona of 2023, when they walked onto the stage at the beginning of Ramaphosa’s speech with placards demanding that he step down over the “Phala Phala” scandal involving millions of dollars found hidden in a sofa at Ramaphosa's private game ranch.

But now, disrupting Ramaphosa will not be possible even for EFF members permitted to attend the address.

“Today a man that they said is the most democratic man, a transparent man, a man who is not corrupt, has banned the EFF from participating in Sona because he is scared of the EFF,” Malema said. 

He was addressing students at the Mangosuthu University of Technology, where he said the real reason behind the ban was that the EFF demanded land expropriation without compensation.

“They hate the EFF for demanding the land because they know once you give Africans the land, they are equal with them. They said the EFF is dangerous, disruptive — no, they are fighting the EFF because the EFF is fighting for equality and they don't want equality.”