Red Overalls Get Malema’s Party Ejected From Gauteng ParliamentRene Vollgraaff
Members of South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters were barred from Gauteng’s provincial parliament in Johannesburg for a second day for wearing red workmens’ clothing.
EFF officials weren’t allowed to enter the legislature today, Mgcini Tshwaku, convener of the EFF in the region, said by phone. The party has eight seats in the parliament in Gauteng, South Africa’s richest province which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria.
Police forcibly removed EFF members yesterday after they failed to adhere to a ruling by the speaker, Ntombi Mekgwe, to leave the building because they contravened rules on dress code, the Gauteng parliament said in a statement on its website.
“The speaker indicated they will only be allowed back if they comply to the rules and today they came fully dressed in the overalls, which meant they were not in compliance with the rules,” Peter Skosana, secretary to the legislature, said by phone today. “They could not enter the house because they were not dressed as required by the rules.”
The EFF, which was formed last year after its leader Julius Malema was expelled from the ruling African National Congress, won 6.4 percent of the vote in the May 7 election. Malema, who often wears a red beret and is called commander-in-chief by party officials, was ejected from the national parliament two weeks ago after he refused to withdraw a comment in which he referred to the ANC as murderers.
Two EFF members were injured in the scuffle with police yesterday and have been discharged from hospital, Tshwaku said. Lungelo Dlamini, a provincial police spokesman, said no case had been opened against any officers regarding the injuries.