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EFF to challenge their removal from SONA in court, demands apology from National Assembly Speaker

EFF MPs being removed by security at SONA on Thursday.

EFF MPs being removed by security at SONA on Thursday.


  • EFF leader Julius Malema wants an apology from National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula over the fracas between his MPs and police.
  • Should there be no apology within 48 hours, the party will head to court.
  • They are challenging Mapisa-Nqakula’s conduct during the SONA and that of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s protectors.

EFF leader Julius Malema has given National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to publicly withdraw and apologise on behalf of the institution for the fracas between his MPs and security forces.

EFF MPs stormed the stage where President Cyril Ramaphosa was sitting during SONA on Thursday. The party had prevented the president from speaking for more than 30 minutes at the start of his speech and was eventually ordered to leave.

As they made their way out of the Chamber, EFF MPs were forcibly removed by police when they rushed to the stage towards Ramaphosa.

“We want them [Parliament] to publicly withdraw and apologise and she [Mapisa-Nqakula] should do so together with the protection services who need to distance themselves from the act of the security police officers. They should do so in the form of a press conference. Failure to do so, we will approach the Constitutional Court directly,” he said. According to Malema, they were removed illegally from the Chamber.

READ | ‘We had to act’: Cele defends police action against EFF, likens SONA chaos to Verwoerd assassination

“I spoke, after speaking I sat down. From there I never spoke again. My name gets read out and other colleagues. From there we are told, leave the House,” he said.

Malema said ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula was named thrice and informed about his offence before being asked to leave the Chamber.

That did not happen with the EFF MPs.

“It does not matter how impatient you are, follow the rules,” he said.

Malema said they believe these matters deal directly with the Constitution.

Asked if they had gone too far by storming the stage, Malema said none of their actions were “taking it far”.

“The only place where the president does not have protectors around him is in Parliament. He enters and sits among members of Parliament. When we are seated with him, he can’t see our hands. No one can see us if we have a knife or a gun. But on the stage, my hands were visible holding a placard. Since when does holding a placard in a peaceful manner is a threat,” he said.

Malema said their actions last night were far less than their “payback the money” disruptions in the National Assembly under former president Jacob Zuma.

WATCH | ‘This is a dictatorship,’ says Malema after EFF kicked out of SONA

“This was peaceful, there was no signing. We were just going to stand on the stage silently carrying placards. The president would have proceeded to address the nation in the presence of protests. We are now no longer talking about the Constitution, we are talking about feelings. The Constitution encourages peaceful protests,” he said.

On Thursday evening, Parliament said in a statement, as per Joint Rules of Parliament, the security services may intervene directly anywhere in the precincts in terms of section 4(2) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act (Act No 4 of 2004, “when there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person or damage to any property”.

Therefore, the security services do not have to await the invitation of the Presiding Officers to enter the Chamber when the life or safety of a Member is at stake.

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