2 minute read
12 Feb 2015
8:04 pm

Fist fights break out in Parliament (video)


Fist fights broke out as Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were dragged out the National Assembly during the state-of-the-nation address on Thursday evening.

EFF leader Julius Malema exits parliament after his party were ordered to leave during State of the Nation address in Cape Town, 12 February 2015. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The MPs tried to stand their ground after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them to leave, but officers dragged them out.

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu confronted a few officers and another fight broke out.

Some of the protection officers’ shirts were ripped off and they stood bare-chested as a result of the disruption.

Security officers blocked journalists from going near the EFF MPs.

Police and protection officers were apparently taking the rowdy EFF MPs to a location on the precinct.

EFF leader Julius Malema and some of his MPs had interrupted President Jacob Zuma’s speech.

National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise explained the presiding officers had a right to call in security.

“We have indeed repeatedly called members during a joint sitting to heed the call to take a seat,” she said.

She said all avenues were exhausted before security was called in.

“We are also empowered… to ask for security whichever security to act… I think we should allow this House to do its business,” Modise said.

Disruption against constitution – Pandor

The disruption of Parliament on Thursday during President Jacob Zuma’s eighth state-of-the-nation address is a direct violation of the Constitution, African National Congress MP Naledi Pandor said.

“The disruption we saw was a direct violation of the Constitution,” she said.

Speaking to other MP’s she said: “I thought you knew the rules very well and I suggest you read rule seven of the joint rules.”

Economic Freedom Fighter MPs disrupted Zuma and asked when he would pay back the money in terms of what the public protector found on his private residence in Nkandla.

EFF leader Julius Malema, deputy president Floyd Shivambu and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was also asked to leave the house.

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

Parly disruption ‘disgusting’ – Buthelezi

Founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party Mangosuthu Buthelezi said that the disruptions in Parliament on Thursday were “disgusting” and “utter nonsense”.

“I think what we have seen today is disgusting. I think our country is really torn to pieces and I think the struggle didn’t take place for people to play the fool,” he said after President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation-address was interrupted by Economic Freedom Fighters MPs.

“[This is] not what the majority of people in this house want to see. If the Constitution allows us to vote, why can’t we put this to vote?”