MPs Brawl In South Africa Over Zuma Speech

The disruption came as some members of the Economic Freedom Fighters party refused to let the president speak.

A fight has broken out in South Africa’s parliament as security guards forcibly removed opposition politicians from the chamber.

 About 20 members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party were trying to prevent President Jacob Zuma speaking when they were wrestled from their seats by plain-clothed guards.

They also shouted down the Speaker, Baleka Mbete.

The EFF members, who were dressed in their uniform of red overalls, fought back but were eventually removed through a side door.

The disruption is the latest in a series of showdowns in parliament by the EFF, which refuses to let Mr Zuma speak, saying it does not recognise him as president in the wake of two recent court cases.

In March, the country’s highest court found that Mr Zuma had violated the constitution over the spending of £11m of taxpayers’ money on his private rural residence at Nkandla in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

In April, another court said he should face almost 800 corruption charges relating to a multibillion-dollar arms deal that were dropped in 2009, shortly before he became president.

The EFF argues that Mr Zuma is not fit to address the house.

 Its leader Julius Malema said: “We are going to put our lives in defence of this constitution. Mr Zuma will never find peace in this parliament.

“We cannot be led by a man who failed to uphold, defend and protect the constitution.”

Pressure is mounting on Mr Zuma to resign or be axed as president by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

He has been urged to step down by a number of senior ANC veterans of the struggle against apartheid, which brought liberation icon Nelson Mandela to power in 1994.

But he retains widespread loyalty in the party, and ANC lawmakers have regularly rallied to Zuma’s defence.

In April, they easily defeated an opposition move to impeach him.



Source: Sky News

Photo Source: Capital FM Kenya

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