WATCH | Chairs fly as chaos mars election debate

Skip to 2:00 for the political debate coverage.

Chaos erupted at a political debate in Hout Bay, Western Cape, on Friday.

The scenes at the debate were recorded live on SABC Morning Live.  

"Horrific scenes coming from our election broadcast in Hout Bay. We have been trying absolutely everything to keep this broadcast going, to let these smaller parties be heard and this is what is happening now," SABC presenter Leanne Manas can be heard saying.

In the visuals, EFF supporters can be seen throwing plastic chairs at other parties' supporters.

In separate visuals, an EFF member can allegedly be seen slapping a woman.

The debate has since been called off.

EFF chairperson in the Western Cape Melikhaya Xheko, who was also a panelist, said the debate was split into two parts for those currently in government and the new parties participating for the first time.

He said the debate was delayed by singing and disruptions by Black First Land First (BLF) and the Land Party supporters.

"At the end of our time we were not finished with responding to questions of clarity that were raised by the people on the show. The producers of the show agreed with the EFF and other political parties to cut it off and give other parties a chance," he said.

He said the leaders left the hall with supporters staying behind at the debate.

"The Land Party and the BLF came to chase away the EFF. They targeted the EFF that the EFF should leave."

"In the process of the EFF leaving, they shouted and pushed them from behind and then a scuffle started and they starting hitting each other."

Xheko said the chairs came from the direction of the BLF supporters. "It was the BLF who was problematic there and they were inciting the Land Party. BLF didn't have enough numbers so it was utilising the Land Party to collapse the whole thing."

Xheko said BLF supporters had also stoned their taxis and cars outside the venue. 

He said the EFF regretted the incident and did not promote violence. BLF has not been reached for comment.


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