Pierre De Vos sets out some of the legal issues relating to parliament and the ejection of the EFF
, following an earlier article which also examines the power of the Speaker in relation to MPs. de Vos argues it would have been wiser to suspend the proceedings rather than evict the members from EFF as constitutionally most desirable and politically most astute thing to do. I am not sure what that would achieve in that the EFF have a very singleminded and single track approach towards parliament and would have been unlikely to bend after a suspension of proceedings. Suspension of proceedings would be viable in a situation where parties on opposite sides could negotiate a resolution of the impasse but there is no such common ground between ANC and EFF. In a contribution on Constitutionallyspeaking earlier in the week, de Vos asks why ‘so much attention (and money) is lavished on the President’s State of the Nation address….’ But in the article below he appears to see SONA is much more than EFF raising points of order etc. ‘it’s about the President and Parliament as constitutional entities…’ My question really is whether the SONA still enjoys the status it once enjoyed when the ruling party spits on the constitution and all attempts at oversight and the president laughs when EFF members are ejected violently., Personally, I do not agree with the EFF one track approach and believe that in politics one needs a range of ways of tackling problems. The EFF draw on a very narrow arsenal and in so doing it leads to potential repeats of what happened this week (as both ANC and EFF in fact intimate). That does not take us anywhere in terms of restoring democratic values. While I agree with Pierre de Vos’ desire to avoid ejection, the suspension is not viable as a way of resolving tensions at this point. I believe that his line of thinking, to find another route for restoring constitutionalism is worthy, even if the preliminary suggestions he makes may not be viable.