WATCH: Letting ‘constitutional delinquent’ Gordhan speak is a ‘middle finger’ to PP – Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema participates in the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's state-of-the-nation address, 25 June 2019. Photo: GCIS

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema participates in the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's state-of-the-nation address, 25 June 2019. Photo: GCIS

The entire EFF caucus left chambers after their leader failed to convince the house not to let the minister speak.

In parliament on Tuesday, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema took exception to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s inclusion on the list of speakers who replied to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third state of the nation (Sona) address, which took place on June 20.

“I don’t think it would be advisable for Mr Gordhan to address us,” Malema said, citing the public protector’s report finding that found Gordhan had irregularly approved the early retirement of Ivan Pillay from the South African Revenue Service (Sars) while finance minister.

“This is not a point of order,” deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli replied.

“And you allow a consitutional delinquent to speak,” Malema continued, before Tsenoli cut him short, telling him that he was making a “political statement” rather than rising on a genuine point of order.

READ MORE: Malema takes aim at ‘Stalinist’ Gordhan

“But listen, Mabena,” Malema continued in a comment that was met with laughter, and compared Tsenoli to a member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who became famous after a video portraying him as “lazy and disappointing” went viral.

“I am going to switch off the mic if you proceed,” Tsenoli responded.

Undeterred, Malema continued: “You are doing the same mistake you did even with the previous president, where the government has been accused of not taking responsibility of the actions …”

At this point Tsenoli once gain cuts him off: “Honorable Malema, you read the rules and it says what a point of order is.”

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Malema kept going, saying “you can not show the middle finger to a chapter 9 institution”, which earned him the threat that his mic would soon be turned off.

Tsenoli then tells Malema to wait outside while the “constitutional delinquent” speaks, at which point the entire EFF caucus leaves chambers.

An ANC MP then raises a point of order, saying her party “will not allow a situation where a minister is being embarrassed” by the opposition.

Following this, Gordhan began his reply to the president while the EFF caucus continued to shuffle out, and was interrupted by an MP who asked if his speech could wait until the EFF members had finished walking out, to which Tsenoli replied, telling him he was being “contemptuous”.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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