4 minute read
12 Feb 2015
7:33 pm

EFF interrupts Zuma at opening of Parliament


President Jacob Zuma's eighth state-of-the-nation address was interrupted by EFF MP Godrich Gardee.

Julius Malema wore the EFF's trademark overalls. Picture: @NakoeII, Twitter

Zuma started his speech commemorating the adoption of the Freedom Charter.

“The year 2015 marks 60 years of a historic moment in our history when South Africans from all walks of life adopted the freedom charter,” Zuma said.

He was shortly after that interrupted by Gardee calling for a point of order.

Answers demanded from Zuma

President Jacob Zuma should answer questions on when he will pay back the money for his private residence in Nkandla before he delivers his eighth state-of-the-nation address, EFF MP Godrich Gardee said on Thursday.

“May we ask the president when he is going to pay the money in terms of what the public protector has said,” Gardee said.

“He [Zuma] has not been answering that question and we hope today he will answer that question.”

Zuma started his speech commemorating the adoption of the Freedom Charter.

He was shortly after that interrupted by Gardee calling for a point of order.

“If the president would not mind taking a seat,” Gardee said.

He said he was calling on Zuma to answer the question on a question of privilege.

National Assembly Speaker Baleke Mbete said that the reason they were in parliament was for the state-of-the-nation and said it was not a question session.

Gardee said Zuma should answer when and how he was going to pay back the money.

Mbete defends Zuma

Speaker Baleka Mbete told EFF MPs Godrich Gardee that President Jacob Zuma would answer questions next week.

“Members will have an opportunity to debate and respond to the address by the president and the sitting scheduled for next week… This is not a question session,” she said after MPs demanded that Zuma pay back the money for security upgrades on his Nkandla residence.

“This is not the occasion for questions or points… This is a specifically called sitting for the president to deliver his state of the nation address.

“I insist and appeal to members to allow this house to proceed with the business of the day.”

Malema wants Zuma to answer

EFF leader Julius Malema insisted on Thursday that President Jacob Zuma answer questions regarding upgrades to his private Nkandla home.

“You not doing me any favours… it is within my right to speak as a member of this House and let me remind you that it is incorrect of you that when the president speaks you suspend the rules,” he told Speaker Baleka Mbete.

“We want the president to answer a simple question, when is he paying the money as instructed by the public protector?”

EFF ordered to leave Parly

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mebete ordered that a number of EFF MPs leave the House after they interrupted President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address on Thursday.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, chief whip Floyd Shivambu and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi refused to leave.

Other EFF MPs protested on their behalf.

“Sizo lala la [we going to sleep here],” one of them shouted.

Mbete ordered that security be brought into the House to remove the MPs.

“The security forces must come in…,” she said.

Malema, Shivambu thrown out

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and deputy president Floyd Shivambu were removed from Parliament on Thursday during President Jacob Zuma’s eighth state-of-the-nation address.

“I ask the Parliamentary service officers to please come in and take out the honorary members,” National Speaker Baleka Mbete said.

“I also ask the security officers to assist.”

EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was also asked to leave the house.

At around 7.42pm, Malema, hat in hand, left Parliament.

Malema and Mbete clash

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Thursday asked Speaker Baleka Mbete to show him which rule prevented him from asking questions during the president’s state of the nation address.

“Point us the rule that gives you power to deny us this,” he said.

“I’m not working for you, I’m not going to leave.”

Mbete told Malema that she would not allow any other points of order to be raised.

Mbete then told EFF Floyd Shivambu to leave the chamber after he also tried to ask a question.

“I now have to ask that you leave the chamber, because it is clear that you are not prepared to cooperate with us,” she said.

EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Mbete she was not a bishop.

“I’m appealing to your conscience honourable speaker,” he added.

Mbete then called on protection services to remove EFF MPs from the room.