Parliament: Malema issued with strong warning

NCOP chair Thandi Modise says action could now be taken against the EFF.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema used his debut in Parliament to attack President Jacob Zuma, the ANC, and the opposition. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The joint sitting of Parliament has now adjourned with National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chair Thandi Modise issuing a strong warning to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema after his party walked out of the National Assembly last night.

Malema was kicked out of Parliament on Thursday during the second day of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate after an altercation with Modise.

He was asked to retract a statement he made on Wednesday about the African National Congress (ANC) government being almost directly responsible for the 2012 Marikana killings, which claimed the lives of 34 striking miners.

Modise, who was North West Premier at the time of the Marikana bloodbath, asked Malema to formally withdraw the statement as it was "unparliamentary" and did not accord with the decorum of the house.

But the EFF president refused and was then asked to leave. EFF members of Parliament (MPs) subsequently staged a dramatic walkout.

The MPs shouted "murderer" and "the ANC killed people" through the microphones at their seats as Modise ordered them to leave.

Modise says action could now be taken against the EFF.

"The type of behaviour manifested in the house isn't in keeping with the decorum of Parliament and cannot be ignored. This may very well be a matter that could reside under the mandate of the powers and privileges committees."

Replying to debate on his Sona, President Jacob Zuma made no direct reference to the insults hurled at him by Malema this week.

He instead devoted his reply to giving more detail on how government planned to jump-start the economy and become more efficient and accountable.

He said political parties might have different ways of getting there but they all shared the same destination - a better country.

Zuma said the national interest should not be overshadowed by individuals.

"We don't want to deal with one another as individuals because that reduces the debate of the country to individual debate."


Meanwhile, the ANC has lashed out at the EFF, describing the conduct of Malema and its MPs as outrageous and warning it was now pushing for an inquiry.

In a strongly worded statement issued last night, ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said the EFF MP's behaviour had brought Parliament into disrepute.

Sizani said their conduct was atrocious, dressed-up as militancy that was making a mockery of the institution.