Own Correspondent|South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Thursday but was unable to do so after nearly an hour of disruptions by the vibrant opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema rose within a minute of the proceedings beginning on a point of order asking that former President FW de Klerk leave Parliament.
Malema said: “We have a murderer, a man who has the blood of innocent people on his hands in the House… We please request that De Klerk leave this house because he doesn’t belong in this house. The man with blood on his hands should leave this Parliament.”
Malema said it was incorrect for an invitation to have been sent to De Klerk because the people of Boipatong were turning in their graves after what the former president did to them.
“He’s an unrepentant apologist of apartheid who is not willing to accept that apartheid was a crime against humanity. Therefore, it is an insult to those who died and were tortured in Vlakplaas under the instructions of De Klerk to have him sitting in a democratic Parliament.”
National Assembly Speaker Modise responded to the leader of the red berets and said: “This sitting has been called for one item only, to give the president the space to address the nation. It is a convention that all former presidents who are still alive are invited to this sitting. The former President De Klerk has been invited because of that.”
Modise said she could not sustain the submission Malema made and ruled his point out of order.
The Boipatong massacre is one of the bloodiest and brutal moments of popular violence that engulfed South Africa in the decade between 1984 and 1993; De Klerk was president of South Africa under the apartheid regime from 1989 to 1994.
Numerous EFF MPs raised points of order, including that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan be fired, and would not obey Modise’s rulings, prompting her to temporarily suspend proceedings.
When proceedings resumed, the EFF MPs continued their disruptions and were ordered to leave. On leaving the house, the members shouted, “We’re leaving you with your De Klerk and Pravin”.
Watch video of the full proceedings downloading below:
Source: EWN/News Agents