South Africans have learned to expect certain things when President Zuma delivers his State of the nation address in parliament. One of such things to expect is the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters interrupting President Zuma’s SONA 2017 speech, and consequently being forcefully sent out of parliament.
The EFF in their red suits and the parliamentary protection services in their white shirts were involved in a brawl which resulted in their removal from the meeting. While the Democratic Alliance (DA) exited the room peacefully, the EFF would not until the security forces were applied.
The EFF leader, Julius Malema spat vile words expressing how he felt abused by President Zuma. Malema went further to accuse Mbete of being used by Zuma and the ANC.
“He used you, and he dumped you,” Malema said.
“If you are not going then we have no option… but to ask the parliamentary protection services to come and assist you, or to persuade you, to leave the house,” Speaker Baleka Mbete responded.
The brawl happened some minutes prior to President Zuma’s State of the nation address. Ahead of the state of the nation address, a statement from the presidency revealed that the President intended to deploy over 400 soldiers to “maintain law and order”. This raised concern among South Africans as many called it a ‘militarisation’ and a ‘declaration of war’
The DA had called for the speaker to not permit the president to speak and this eventually led to the EFF disrupting the meeting further. As the red suited-party were evicted from the parliament, the Democratic Alliance MPS walked out of the parliament, leaving only the ANC MPs present.
As both the DA and EFF were out of parliament and order was regained, the President proceeded to give his routine speech, chuckling and beginning with “finally” as more of a sigh of relief.
See the full SONA 2017 brawl below.