The EFF has defended its plans to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, saying it formed part of the party’s oversight work.

Secretary general Marshall Dlamini on Thursday said the party would not pull back from its plans to hold Ramaphosa accountable for appointing Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to his Cabinet.

In the past, the EFF disrupted former president Jacob Zuma’s Sonas, calling for him to resign and pay back the money that went towards renovations of his homestead in Nkandla.

During the Zuma years, EFF leader Julius Malema capitalised on the chaos caused by disruptions in the chamber, which often left former speaker Baleka Mbete seemingly unable to control the House.

“When we enter that parliament, that is where we work. The issue of Gordhan is no small matter. The guy is presiding over state-owned enterprises.

“Today we can’t guarantee access to electricity, and we keep saying the issue of electricity is no longer a luxury, it’s a human rights issue. The guy is incompetent, the guy has lied to him [Ramaphosa] in front of the entire country and there are no consequences,” he said.

In December last year, Ramaphosa assured the nation that there would probably be no load shedding between December 17 and January 13. Shortly after the new year, before the mooted January date, Eskom announced a fresh round of load shedding.

This led to Deputy President David Mabuza making a statement that Ramaphosa was deceived into making the assurance.

Dlamini continued: “We are saying he must do his job. If you are scared of your ministers, we are not scared of you. That is exactly what we are going to do and we are doing it at the right place. We said to Ramaphosa that we are going to give him an opportunity, but we are realising that he is a coward and a clown. We must put the pressure on him.”

Earlier on Thursday, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina told News24 that disruptions to Sona were a form of anarchy which would be met with “high discipline”.

On Tuesday, the EFF claimed that parliament’s security officers had a plan to “smuggle” police into the precinct.

The claims were rubbished by Police Minister Bheki Cele, who said the police would be outside to ensure law and order. Parliament described the claims as serving only to distract.

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