Chaos erupted in Parliament on Wednesday as South Africa’s parliamentary protection officers forcefully removed members of the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from the chamber.
The left-winged party members were uprooted from Parliament after they refused to let President Jacob Zuma talk about the presidency’s budget.
The drama ensued when EFF members questioned Zuma’s right to address the National Assembly since the Constitutional Court said he failed to uphold the Constitution over money spent on Nkandla.
At this point, the red beret members were warned to spare other honourable members their hostile remarks. When the party resisted warnings, Speaker Baleka Mbete started calling EFF MPs names out and ordered them to make use of the exit door. But the defiant MPs refused and rather gathered around a microphone singing and agitating for Zuma to leave.
Protection Officers Restore Peace In Parliament
As such, a group of protection offices emerged through the National Assembly doors. The EFF members then saw themselves been shoved away from Parliament. MP Makoti Khawula was seen shouting angrily in Zulu while EFF MP Natasha Louw threatened to lay a sexual charge on any officer that lays his fingers on her.
As the protection officers pushed them , they chanted “Zuma should be the one to go!” and eventually regrouped outside the chamber.
The party says it will lay criminal charges against National Speaker Baleka Mbete and the protection officers who threw them out of Parliament.
Reacting to the incident, EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu told reporters that the party will lay criminal charges on Mbete and the protection officers.
As the red beret party members left, Zuma began his address.
Meanwhile, the DA has called on EFF leader Julius Malema to suspend EFF MP Nazir Paulsen for alleged racism. Paulsen allegedly referred to DA MP Yusuf Cassim as a k****r during a budget vote in Parliament.
According to DA’s chief whip, John Steenhuisen, “Paulsen’s behaviour demonstrates yet again that the EFF remains a party that is determined to divide‚ and not unite South Africans. They are simply too radical and extreme to be trusted to govern.”
Steenhuisen added that “As elected representatives in the people’s Parliament‚ we should be leading by example. It is quite frankly despicable that such an attack could take place within these chambers‚ when racism remains prevalent in communities across South Africa.”