EFF kicked out of Parliament (again), politicians react to Gigaba’s speech

malusi gigaba mid term budget 2017 governmentza flickr
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba hands over birth certificates to newly born children at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto during the Early Birth Registration campaign in partnership with Procter and Gamble. 02/12/2016 Kopano Tlape GCIS

On Wednesday Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba delivered his first mid-term budget report to Parliament. But while it should be a relatively smooth process, it was anything but.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were asked to leave Parliament once again after the party members were ruled to be disrupting proceedings. They didn’t go quietly.

Calling Gigaba “a Gupta puppet” and labelling Speaker of the House Baleka Mbete “biased”, it took just 20 minutes for the party members to walk out.

While ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu and Mbete weren’t quite in agreement with the EFF’s claims that Gigaba was implicit in state capture, other politicians supported their cause, and added their commentary on the speech as a whole.

The UDM’s Bantu Holomisa couldn’t resist poking fun at the EFF’s “baptism”.

“For goodness sake #EFF is spot on!How could a man who led d #StateCapture project whilst at public enterprises be allowed to read #MTBPS2017, (sic)” tweeted SAFTU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, with a more serious tone.

“Honestly what is honorable with Gigaba, Zuma, Gupta’s and all those #statecapture gang?” he continued.

The DA’s spokesperson Phumzile van Damme questioned the mention that the NDP — the national development plan — received.

The DA’s Chief Whip John Steenhuisen whipped out his phone during the session, and tweeted a few gems.

‘Honestly what is honorable with Gigaba, Zuma, Gupta’s and all those #statecapture gang?’

“You can’t reap a harvest when the crooks and corrupt have stolen all the seeds before you can even put them in the ground,” he wrote around 40 minutes into Gigaba’s speech.

He also posted a sassy Winnie The Pooh meme. “Lots of style, sloganeering, catchwords and high rhetoric from Gigaba so far, not much content or substance unfortunately….” he added in a subsequent tweet.

Speaking of sass, this picture posted by Team News24 was retweeted by Julius Malema and some 170 other Twitter users.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has been “reading” the speech rather than listening to it.

“Been reading the budget Speech. Filled with rhetoric and devoid of any substance. The highlight is the thanks to Mr Zuma. We need change,” he tweeted.

In terms of the mid-term budget speech itself, the outlook is anything but positive.

National Treasury has revised the economic growth projections to 0.7%, down from 1.3%. “Growth is subsequently expected to increase slowly reaching 1.9% in 2020,” Gigaba added.

And as for tax revenue…

The Rand also fell dramatically during the speech, losing close to 20c of its value against the dollar (something that Steenhuisen again just couldn’t resist tweeting about).

This is a developing story…

Feature image: GovernmentZA via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Andy Walker, former editor


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