CAPE TOWN — President Cyril Ramaphosa was blocked from presenting the presidential budget by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday because they said they were being approached by a suspected “criminal”.
The opposition party led by firebrand Julius Malema had previously vowed to oppose Ramaphosa’s presence in the chamber.
EFF deputy chairman Floyd Shivambu said Ramaphosa was unable to address MPs as he faced criminal charges.
“On a point of order it is said there will be no resignation as Cyril Ramaphosa has been branded a money launderer. This is a fact which has not been disputed.”
Eventually two EFF MPs were ordered to leave by Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
“I asked the Honorable [Natasha] Ntlangwini and the Honorable [Anthony] Matumba to leave and they refuse. Take them out,” she charged.
Ramaphosa is under criminal investigation over money laundering allegations by controversial former spy chief Arthur Fraser.
Ramaphosa is accused of covering up the theft of millions of undeclared dollars from his Limpopo game farm.
However, Ramaphosa told parliament that the majority of South Africans do not care about political intrigue and struggle, but rather want opportunities to improve their lives.
“The greatest disservice we can do our people at this difficult time in the life of our nation is to be distracted from the task at hand. The challenges we face as a country are many.
“What the people of South Africa want above all else is an improvement in their quality of life – they don’t care about political squabbles, competition between political parties, intrigues, conspiracies and rivalries.”
It is the first time Ramaphosa has appeared in Parliament since allegations were brought against him by Fraser over money stolen from his Limpopo farm and allegations of a cross-border cover-up.