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EFF determined to disrupt Sona

Julius Malema says his party has taken a close look at the rules of Parliament and will ask their questions.

FILE: Julius Malema's opening address at EFF assembly. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says his party is determined to ask President Jacob Zuma questions during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.

The EFF last year demanded that Zuma pay back the money in reference to the cost of upgrading of his private home in Nkandla, following the release of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's scathing report on his KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

Madonsela found that the president and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades at Nkandla.

She also recommended that Zuma pay back a portion of the money.

Earlier on Tuesday, Eyewitness News confirmed that Pastor Ray McCauley was negotiating a deal to stop potential confrontation during the opening of Parliament.

Malema insisted no deal has been agreed to.

"We met with him on Sunday and we agreed that there is no deal unless something fundamental happens."

McCauley reacted with surprise to the latest development.

"We thought we had a deal last week but we are still hopeful."

He says the party has taken a close look at the rules of Parliament and they will ask their questions.

"Rule 14 (c) says no one will be interrupted unless the person wants to stand on point of order, so we will use that rule and there's nothing stopping us."

Malema was asked whether he would follow the normal convention of giving the president a chance to speak.

"That convention only applies to a president who respects Parliament and consistently accounts to Parliament."

Meanwhile, Zuma on Sunday said he'd never been nervous in his life when asked if he was worried about whether the EFF would interrupt his speech.

Zuma, during a gathering with editors on Sunday, said if the EFF leader asked him a question during his Sona, he'd be directed by the speaker as to what to do.

The president said it was up to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to say whether a question would be allowed.