Malema calls on ANC to account for Parliamentary chaos

EFF leader Julius Malema has accused the ruling party of compromising the integrity of Parliament.

Riot police entered the National Assembly during a heated debate on the Nkandla scandal yesterday. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has slammed the African National Congress (ANC) for calling in riot police during a sitting of the National Assembly.

Malema further says they are cowards following what he calls "the tampering of Parliament" television footage to hide the assault of members of the house.

Riot police entered the National Assembly during a heated debate on the Nkandla scandal yesterday, forcibly removing EFF Member of Parliament (MP) Reneilwe Mashabela and allegedly assaulting other opposition members.

Mashabela called President Jacob Zuma a thief and a known criminal who avoids courts and refuses to go to Parliament.

"Zuma is the greatest thief in the world."

The fracas led to proceedings being abruptly suspended late last night.

There were several angry exchanges between National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and the opposition, with MPs shouting "you must go".

Malema said the ANC must be held responsible for the degeneration of the National Assembly and his party won't back down until it's held to account.

"Parliament degenerates because the ANC undermines constitutional provisions and practice."

He said Mashabela's removal proves that the country is headed for a constitutional crisis.

MALEMA COMPARES CHAOS TO MARIKANA

Malema warned that there will be a loss of life in Parliament at the hands of the police.

He said just like in Marikana, the police used extensive force and abused their power when they physically removed an EFF MP from Parliament.

"Demonstrating their incompetence and that they act on political instruction."

Malema has accused government of calling police into the house when members of the media had left.

The EFF leader said this kind of censorship should worry all South Africans.

"Because they are cowards who want to do illegal things in secrecy."

He said the country is headed towards a dictatorship as MPs are now scared to speak their minds in Parliament out of fear they will be brutalised by the police.

Earlier, Malema said the EFF will approach the courts to seek an urgent and permanent interdict against the police officers who entered Parliament to remove MPS.

DA & ANC TRADE WORDS

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the ANC are still trading words over what happened yesterday.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said a normal person would've obeyed Parliament's rules.

"Firm action must be taken otherwise Parliament will be a disaster."

Mantashe said the rules of the National Assembly dictate that if you are told to leave the house, you must comply.

The ANC earlier issued a statement calling the DA a "racist party" and the EFF a "fascist" one.

It also welcomed the report of the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the Nkandla spending.

DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane says yesterday was a dark day for Parliament.

"What took place was not only an assault by riot police on our members but an assault on our democracy."

He said his party no longer recognises Mbete as speaker.

Meanwhile, Mbete said police were called in to Parliament last night because the institution has to function and its image has to be protected.

She's also defended cutting off the sound and video feeds, saying it's important to protect the perception of Parliament for the people.

Mbete is also chair of the ANC. Leading to opposition parties claim it is impossible for her to act neutrally.

But she said they are targeting her unfairly.

"As we grow as our own democracy in South Africa, we should put forth issues, let them be engaged with but not just try and target one person and try create an issue."

DA MPS LAYS CHARGES AGAINST POLICE

Two DA MPs have laid charges against police after they claimed they were assaulted in Parliament.

Gordon Mackay and Terri Stander arrived at the Cape Town police station accompanied by DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and party officials.

The station commander met with them soon after they arrived.

Mackay had suffered a split lip and injuries to his hand.

Another MP, Dean McPherson was allegedly also injured, but was not at the police station.

Maimane said the matter will be referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.