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PARLIAMENT – Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) interrupted President Jacob Zuma’s speech at the State of the Nation Address for the second year in a row.
It started when EFF member Floyd Shivambu stood up and asked for the Speaker’s attention.
Speaker Baleka Mbete asked Shivambu to take his seat.
“We want to get clarity on the rules of this house,” said Shivambu.
EFF leader Julius Malema then attempted to raise a point of order and spoke over Mbete.
The Speaker reminded the EFF that there will be a debate to discuss the President's SONA speech.
EFF members stood up and argued with the speaker on the ruling that no points of order will be considered during the State of the Nation Address.
The stood up and pointed at Mbete.
“If we’re going to go with the proposal you’ve made then put it to the house. Put the proposal on the table,” said Malema.
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi stood up and requested the house to vote on the EFF’s proposal.
Mbete said, “Joint sittings are not for debates, they have one purpose.”
Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance John Steenhuisen scolded Mbete and said that she needs to set an example.
“If you expect us to abide by the rules, then you need to abide the rules yourself,” said Steenhuisen.
Mbete then asked Malema and the EFF to leave the house.
Either cooperate, or withdraw from the Chamber, speaker Baleka Mbete tells members of this joint sitting.— Michelle Craig (@MichelleL_Craig) February 11, 2016
"Honourable Shivambu I've been very patient with you and the other members of the EFF," said Mbete.
"Honourable members make up your mind if you want to stay in the house or not," she said.
President Jacob Zuma began his speech by welcoming dignitaries but was interrupted by Congress of the People Leader Mosiuoa Lekota who attempted to raise a point of order.
Lekota wouldn’t listen to the Speaker who refused his request to raise a point of order.
Mosiuoa Lekota attempts to rise on a point of order as the @SAPresidentPR begins his speech. President sits down while it's dealt with.— Michelle Craig (@MichelleL_Craig) February 11, 2016
“We can’t listen to this man (President Zuma), he disrespected his oath of office,” said Lekota.
Mbete then requested Lekota and fellow Cope members to leave the house.
Lekota said, “Thank you very much” and left Parliament with the rest his party.