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Sona debate: EFF's Chirwa forced to withdraw Ramaphosa comments in maiden speech

Chirwa was taking part in Tuesday’s debate by parties of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

EFF MP Naledi Chirwa during her maiden speech during the Sona Debate on 25 June 2019. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) MP Naledi Chirwa has been forced to withdraw a statement she made during her maiden speech in the National Assembly.

Chirwa was taking part in Tuesday’s debate by parties of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

She had harsh things to say about Ramaphosa, but there were swift objections from ANC benches early on when she accused his government of jailing some #FeesMustFall protesters and him of being complicit in the murder of others.

Chirwa came out guns blazing: “Your government, Mr President, is responsible for many of the most heinous of crimes. You jailed Khaya Cekeshe, you jailed Bonginkosi Khanyile and were complicit for the brutal murders of Benjamin Phehla, of Bongani Madonsela... just because they asked for free education that you promised them when they were still toddlers in 1994.”

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ordered Chirwa to withdraw what she’s said, sparking a clash between him and EFF MPs who rose on points of order to defend Chirwa on the basis it was her maiden speech.

Chirwa tried to defend herself: “It is not a lie.”

But Tsenoli stood firm: “I am going to switch off this mic. You are going to have to get off the podium, if you are not prepared to withdraw.”

Chirwa later withdrew the comment and finished her speech.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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