Zuma defends Sona tactics
The president described the behaviour of the presiding officers as 'excellent'.
CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma says Parliament's presiding officers acted correctly when Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) disrupted his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday evening.
The president's Sona was delayed when EFF members delivered on their threat to disrupt his speech with the question on when he'll pay back the money spent on upgrades to his Nkandla home.
At a New Age Business Breakfast briefing this morning, Zuma spoke about the drama that unfolded in the National Assembly.
Security officials, who the EFF insists were actually police, forcibly removed defiant red beret Parliamentarians from the house.
The stand-off ended in a brawl between the red berets and men alleged to having been plain-clothed police officers.
WATCH: EFF leader Julius Malema dragged from Parliament
Zuma says the EFF was determined to disrupt proceedings no matter what.
"We tried to answer the question to help the members understand… but they didn't because stuck in their minds was disrupting Parliament, that' all. So I said to myself, I wonder, because you can't say they are young, you can't say its delinquency."
He says Parliament's presiding officers acted accordingly.
"My thought, particularly of the presiding officers, were excellent. They kept explaining the same thing after and explained and explained and explained. Even a person who is not a Parliamentarian would have understood the rules of Parliament."
Zuma says now is the time for the national legislature to apply rules more strictly.
He says EFF MPs were single-mindedly determined to disrupt his Sona.
"My view was that they were behaving dishonourably. They are not helping Parliament."
On the issue of cellphone signals being jammed, Zuma says he was not aware of the problem.
Zuma was also quizzed this morning about the Nkandla scandal.
He says journalists are not providing balanced coverage of the matter and he insists he's not guilty of any corruption relating to the debacle.
"I have a problem with that type of report as I have said, it's not balanced. Some people far away who are not in South Africa still believe that it's corrupt."
Meanwhile, in the wake of an ejection, a walkout and a delayed Sona, opposition MPs have accused the African National Congress (ANC) of turning South Africa into a police state in a bid to protect the president.