The House that fell apart

2014-11-16 08:45

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema this week warned of a “loss of life caused by police” after riot police removed one of the party’s MPs, Reneilwe Mashabela, from the House for refusing to obey an order by House chairperson Cedric Frolick to withdraw a remark that President Jacob Zuma was a thief.

Malema also said Zuma would not “present anything in Parliament, particularly the state of the nation [address], without facing protest action from the EFF benches”.

“We shall make sure that life in Parliament for him does not become business as usual when he has squandered public funds [on security improvements on his Nkandla home].”

Meanwhile, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said his party was considering options such as heckling during Zuma’s speeches and going to his imbizos outside Parliament to ask pressing questions.

He said although he hoped no blood would flow in the chamber, DA MPs no longer felt safe after one of them was injured in Thursday’s scuffle.

The DA has also called for Mbete to be replaced and the party will be staging partial stayaways from debates until that happens.

But ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has stood firm, vowing there was no way Mbete would be removed.

“It is a parliamentary system of parties. We go to Parliament as parties. Do you want us to give it [Speaker’s position] to the DA? Next time they will say the president of the country must not be the president of South Africa,” he said.

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