EFF leader Julius Malema says his party members will not be intimidated and are prepared to leave Parliament “in a coffin” if need be.
He was speaking after EFF MPs were forcibly removed from Parliament on Thursday night after trading blows with security personnel after delaying President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address for almost one and a half hours.
Shortly after their removal guests scattered in the top corner of the house alleging that there was tear gas dispersed in the area.
The EFF alleged that there was a plan by security to remove their MPs‚ tie their hands with cable ties and inject them with “biological weapons”.
Zuma began his speech twice but was disturbed by EFF MPs who rose on points of order. EFF members came out of the house screaming and wailing‚ followed by a large group of so called “white shirts”‚ a reference to the attire worn by parliamentary security personnel .
They came down the Poorthuis stairs still fighting and throwing punches.
About 30 public order police had lined up in full riot gear outside the Marks building where the EFF offices are.
Speaking from a small stage‚ surrounded by smashed pot plants from the scuffle‚ Malema said “we are prepared to leave this Parliament in a coffin. We won’t be intimidated by soldiers and police” who are protecting that “constitutional deliquent” – a reference to Zuma.
“They are ready to chase people out who break the rules of parliament but defend a man who broke his oath of office” Malema said.
“The ANC has suspended the constitution today‚” he said.
“Baleka [Mbete‚ the Speaker) has collapsed this Parliament into a department of the Zuma administration.
“History will record tat we stood up to tyranny” he said.
Asked whether any of the members had been injured‚ Godrich Gardee responded “we are all injured”.
Many of the MPs were breathless and sweating‚ and some looked shaken.
Nazir Paulsen‚ who has been practicing boxing in the run up to today said he knew he would be a target for the bouncers.
He said he was knocked down to the ground. “A couple of the bouncers got on top of me. They tried to snap my neck. There was a definite attempt to do severe harm.
“I suppose I would be dead if I didn’t learn to protect myself‚” he said.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi‚ who was limping‚ said all he remembered was a group of white shirts descending on him.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane‚ whose party staged a walkout during the pandemonium‚ said outside that he would go to court in the morning to challenge the night’s events.
“I must stand up for the rules of this country.”
He said gas canisters had been let off inside the public gallery as well.
– TMG Digital/TimeLIVE