By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - An exchange of blows broke out in South Africa’s parliament Tuesday as security guards forcibly removed members of the leftist opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party from the house.
The radical opposition MPs had tried to stop President Jacob Zuma from speaking in the National Assembly saying they did not recognize him as the country’s president because he had violated his oath of office.
Last month, South Africa’s constitutional court found that Zuma had violated his oath of office by failing to comply with an anti-corruption watchdog’s recommendation to pay back millions of public money used to renovate his private home.
“Honorable members, there is no basis that the president is not allowed to speak in parliament,” Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete told EFF MPs who kept on interrupting her.
Rowdy EFF MPs then started singing and calling for the president to instead be removed from the house.
“Sergeants-at-arms, remove Zuma from the house,” EFF MPs chanted, forcing Mbete to call in security to remove them.
The 25 EFF MPs tried to resist their removal by throwing punches and bottles at the security guards, but were later removed.
“We are going to fight back with everything we got, because we tried everything peaceful but nothing has happened,” EFF leader Julius Malema told local media outside parliament shortly after they were ejected.
Two weeks ago, the same the MPs were removed from parliament after they attempted to prevent Zuma from speaking.
During his question-and-answer session, Zuma condemned opposition MPd who do not respect parliamentary rules.
“I think we need to do more to stop this chaos. We as political leaders ought to identify national issues and stop politicking about everything. All of us here wish for a prosperous South Africa,” he said.