News / South Africa

Austil Mathebula
2 minute read
16 Feb 2017
3:31 pm

Zuma slams EFF for treating parly like a ‘beer hall’

Austil Mathebula

The president has called on all members of parliament to respect the House instead of engaging in violence.

President Jacob Zuma in Parliament. (Photo: GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma has come out to criticise those members of parliament who disrupted the state of the nation address (Sona) last week.

This after member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had to be forcefully removed from the Chamber by the controversial “white shirts” – the security personnel in parliament. During the scuffle between EFF members MPs, fists and helmets were the weaponry of the day. Both EFF members  and security personnel were injured at the end of the scuffle.

EFF leader Julius Malema even later alleged during a press conference this week that the security had also wanted to inject them with “slow poison”.

The DA also left the National Assembly in protest before Zuma could resume his disrupted speech.

Zuma condemned this behaviour, saying it was “shocking and unbecoming”.

He called on all MPs to respect parliament, adding that some MPs are treating parliament like it’s something worse than a “beer hall”.

“Let me thank South Africans for listening to the Sona, in spite of the shocking and unbecoming behaviour that was displayed in this House again last Thursday by some members.

“Our people elect members every five years to represent them in parliament and to fulfil the tasks outlined in the constitution for the legislative arm of the state. The majority of members of parliament understand the serious responsibility that they have been entrusted with, and conduct themselves in a manner that gives hope to South Africans.

“However, some members or some MPs have decided to treat this House like something worse than a beer hall.

“The conduct we saw in this House traumatised millions of South Africans … 12-year-old Given Lubisi came here to impress members of parliament and the nation with his artistic skills.

“We again appeal to those MPs and parties that have taken a decision to cause mayhem in the house to use available democratic mechanisms to express themselves within the bounds of decency and decorum.

“As adults, we can disagree ideologically, but we should not lose the track of the national interest. Respect for one another and for our parliament will restore the dignity of this important house and give hope to our people.”