South African members of the opposition party, the Ecconomic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have raised ‘points of orders’ at the start of the State-Of-The-Nation-Address in parliament Thursday evening, which has been followed by chaos.
Just after the opening prayer, EFF member Floyd Chivambu, raised a point of order, asking for the rules to be clarified before the address commenced. He was soon joined by EFF leader, Julius Malema, who supported Shivambu on wanting clarity of the rules.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, didn’t recognise Shivambu and Malema’s point of orders, saying that the order of the day is a speech from the President and no one else.
Mbete also read out a rule which allows members of the parliament to be sent out of the processions, warning them to take their seats.
“If you do not take your seats and co-operate with the chair, you will be asked to leave,” says Mbete.
DA chief whip, Stan Hazen, rose up and told Mbete that she should also abide by the rules.
The chaos continued for over 20 minutes before Mbete told Malema to leave the processions. She then asked Malema to convey leadership among the EFF Members so that the president could address the nation.
“Members of the EFF, make up your minds on whether you want to remain on the chamber or you want to go,” says Mbete.
After 25 minutes, the president was called on the podium to address the nation.
As President Jacob Zuma greeted the parliament members, further chaos ensued as more ‘point-of-orders’ were raised.
Congeress of the People leader, Mosiuoa Lekota, rose on a point of order saying he can not listen to a president that is not honarable. Mbete asked Lekota to leave and he left together with other members of his party.
The president was finally given a chance to address the nation, before the EFF disrupted him. Malema was asked to leave parliament.
At 7:58pm CAT the EFF was still disrupting Parliament.
The DA’s Mmusi Maimane asked that proceedings continue as 8.3 million need to hear what is going to be done to save the economy.
At 8pm CAT this was proceeded by the EFF shouting “Zupta must fall”. This was followed by the EFF leaving Parliament. At 8:03pm, Zuma resumed with SONA.