The secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe says National Speaker Baleka Mbete shouldn’t have waited for one hour before pulling in Parliamentary protection officers to push out the EFF members.
In a post-SONA review, Gwede Mantashe described the disruptions as pathetic and blamed Mbete for being too ‘soft’ on the fighters. He stressed that the primary reason why most South Africans were interested in the event was to watch Zuma speak and not to watch the EFF mar the event.
It was glaring that Gwede Mantashe’s opinion on the incidence makes him the only one in the boat, as many other speakers, including opposition MPs insisted that Mbete was very unfair with EFF members.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen likened the forced removal of the EFF to the state of emergency in 1980s, when South Africa was under the leadership of white minority.
He said although EFF “took it a bit too far” when they heckled for over an hour, he described the use of force and the deployment of military and riot police in Parliament as wholly unlawful.
The opposition MP maintained that President Jacob Zuma has led South Africa into a police state; adding that soon South Africans will lead a mass revolt against the Zuma government.
“We saw what PW Botha did in the 1980s when he turned the security forces on the citizens of the country. The people rose against them and they will rise against Zuma.
The full-speed removal of the EFF was done with excessive force that was not justifiable. It is unacceptable to be treated in that manner. The precinct has been turned into a police and military state.”
Another speaker from the DA Gavin Davis slammed Parliamentary protection officers for kicking EFF women who had fallen to the ground.
Weighing in on events that unfolded in the National Assembly during the State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son – Edward Zuma – said on Friday morning that last night’s chaotic embarrassed South Africa on the international stage.
Thursday’s State of the Nation Address also avail Julius Malema the opportunity of unleashing his long-held grievances against Mbete. Minutes the fighters were bundled out of Parliament, Malema accused Mbete of bum-sucking President Zuma.
According to Malema, Mbete is very irrational, impatient and partisan and all these, he alleged, made her lose the seat of ANCWL chairperson.
“Your conduct has failed you to be a candidate for president because you are irrational, you are impatient, you are partisan. You are scared of Zuma.
He used you, he dumped you, he used you and promised you that you are going to be a president. You went home, you slaughtered a cow and he dumped you,” Malema sliced her the more.
Meanwhile, Parliament said it would investigate the use of pepper spray in the public gallery, saying that it was regarded as a security breach.