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On a point of order: EFF stages walkout as Gordhan delivers speech in Parliament

Opposition parties continued to deliver broadsides on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Tuesday.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivering his 2017 Budget speech in Parliament on 22 February 2017. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighters MPs on Tuesday staged a walkout in the National Assembly while Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan prepared to deliver his speech in Parliament.

EFF leader Julius Malema raised a point of order and questioned why Gordhan was allowed to speak in Parliament.

The EFF leader's comments related to a legal notice issued to Gordhan by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Earlier this month, Mkhwebane served the notice in relation to her investigation into his meetings with the Guptas and his involvement in the so-called Sars rogue unit.

After the walkout, Gordhan could get back to delivering his speech. The minister said Eskom had already begun developing a road map to unbundle the utility into three separate business entities, which would be completely owned by the state.

The cash-strapped state-owned entity is set to be split into its generation, transmission and distribution functions in an effort to improve operations.

LAND EXPROPRIATION

Gordhan was not the only one who had a tough time in Parliament on Tuesday. Opposition parties continued to deliver broadsides on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona.

The debate saw parties deride Ramaphosa for being a dreamer with no real plan, while ANC speakers sprung to his defence.

Ramaphosa was urged to stare down the enemies of growth, even within his own party.

Malema accused Ramaphosa of retreating on the land question, after he failed to mention expropriation without compensation in his Sona address last week.

Malema tore into Ramaphosa’s speech, claiming he had no new ideas and was therefore “fantasizing”.

“If anything, those who voted for you are now regretting it, because they wasted their votes on a president without a plan.”

Malema read out the ANC’s resolutions on the land issue and changing the Reserve Bank’s mandate.

“Now that you’ve been elected, you turn your back on the promises you made to the electorate because you undermine our people like that. Last week you completely retreated on expropriation of land without compensation and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane also accused the president of dreaming, saying instead of building new smart cities and bullet trains, government should fix those we already have.

WATCH: The Sona parliamentary debate – so far

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)