McCauley disappointed with Sona chaos
McCauley says the violence in Parliament harmed efforts to resolve issues between Jacob Zuma and the EFF.
JOHANNESBURG - Rhema Bible Church head Ray McCauley says he is extremely disappointed in the way President Jacob Zuma and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema conducted themselves at the State of the Nation Address.
On Thursday night, Zuma delivered his address despite a walkout by the Democratic Alliance, the expulsion of EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) and threats of court action after the cellphone signal was scrambled.
Security officers were called in to remove EFF members after interrupting the president's speech, asking when he would pay back some of the money spent on security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead as recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
McCauley says the violence inside Parliament has harmed efforts to resolve issues between Zuma and the EFF.
"We are back to square one but I think dialogue and getting them together is vital for the way forward for our country and we are already busy with that."
The pastor has been meeting with Malema since December to resolve their differences but talks broke down four days before the opening of Parliament.
He says church leaders will be meeting with the EFF leader soon to restart attempts to get the two parties to sign a peace accord.
McCauley says religious leaders will continue to pray for sanity to prevail.
Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) said it was satisfied Zuma was able to deliver his speech despite the disruptions.
Video: Night of chaos at Sona 2015.
'USE OF FORCE IN PARLIAMENT UNCONSTITUTIONAL'
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) says the use of force in Parliament to eject democratically elected EFF members was uncalled for and unconstitutional.
The constitutional watchdog says the circumstances did not call for a security force to eject the whole party when speaker Baleka Mbete only dismissed four members.
The body has now called for an investigation to determine which security forces were called into the chamber.
Casac's Lawson Naaidoo said, "We are shocked that armed officers entered the floor and violently eject EFF members and that use of force was uncalled for."
PRESIDENCY: IT WAS POLICE WHO REMOVED EFF MPS
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe admitted that police officers were among a group of plain-clothed security officials who physically removed EFF MPs from the National Assembly on Thursday evening.
Radebe said what happened was despicable but should not be seen as a reflection of all members of the house.
The minister argued he remains proud to be a member of ANC and Parliament, but is disappointed and disgusted by the behaviour of the EFF.
Radebe said the speaker was empowered by law to call the police.