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EFF forces Speaker of Parliament to suspend Sona

The EFF members of parliament
The EFF members of parliament
Image: @EFF/ Twitter

National Assembly Thandi Modise had her hands full on Thursday as the EFF delivered on its promise to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address.

Just before 8pm, after dealing with an hour of disruptions, Modise said: "This house is suspended."

The EFF disrupted the sitting twice, first objecting to former apartheid president FW de Klerk's presence, and then later demanding that Ramaphosa fire public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

The chaos was started by EFF leader Julius Malema, who said it was a mistake for parliament to invite De Klerk.

“Speaker, we have a murderer in the house,” he said.

“We have a man who has got blood of innocent people in this house, which is supposed to represent the wills of our people — and therefore it’s incorrect for you to have extended  an invitation to De Klerk because De Klerk is a murderer.

“The people of Boipatong are still crying and De Klerk said apartheid was not a crime against humanity. He is an unrepentant apologist of apartheid; he is not willing to accept that apartheid was a crime against humanity,” said Malema.

Malema demanded that De Klerk leave the house before Ramaphosa delivered his speech.

“It is an insult for those who died and [were] tortured in Boipatong ... We please request De Klerk to please leave this house.”

Malema was followed by his deputy Floyd Shivambu, secretary-general Marshall Dlamini and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Modise dismissed Malema's motion.

“This sitting has been called for one item and one item only, to give the president ... space to deliver the state of the nation address. It is convention that all the presidents and former presidents who are still alive are invited to the sitting. Former president De Klerk has been invited because of that. I, therefore, cannot sustain the submission,” she said.

Then, when Ramaphosa took to the podium to deliver his speech, EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo raised a point of order, saying Ramaphosa should only deliver his speech after firing Gordhan.

“We can't fly to Durban because of this man,” said Pambo, referring to the crisis at SAA.”

Earlier, Pambo said South Africans were without lights, in reference to the crisis at power utility Eskom.

EFF MPs called for the adjournment of the sitting.

“Please adjourn the house in order for President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Pravin.”

Modise objected to this and ordered EFF MPs to stop disrupting proceedings.

The disruptions lasted for close to an hour.

As South Africa prepares itself for Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona), we take a look at South Africa's four prominent presidents and what they achieved. Through statistics, we compare each democratically elected president's promises to the subsequent realities.


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