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.
Fist fights break out
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.
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. SAPA