EFF and security come to blows, DA walks out, Zuma begins his speech with a laugh

By News24 Wire
09 February 2017

A massive brawl, involving Economic Freedom Fighters members and security dressed in white shirts, broke out in Parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Tear gas, or pepper spray, was also apparently used in the public gallery in the National Assembly as EFF MPs were forced out, though it was unclear to determine the exact nature of the smoke.

Speaker Baleka Mbete earlier constantly warned EFF members, including leader Julius Malema, to leave as she said they were disrupting proceedings. She then called for them to removed.

Read more: Red carpet and riot police: SA’s politicians dressed up to the nines as protesters and police clash nearby Several officers in white shirts then arrived and a fight erupted with EFF members punching and kicking them. They retaliated. Outside of Parliament scores of riot police were stationed. Shouting continued inside the National Assembly after the EFF members were removed.

Zuma was meant to have started his SONA at 7 pm.

When he began his address at well past 8 pm, he chuckled and said, "Finally."

Earlier the EFF's Floyd Shivambu, as well as Malema, claimed that police with injections and cable ties were poised to force them out and use the items on them.

News24

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