Malema: South Africa is becoming a police state under ‘Number One Tsotsi’

2015-02-13 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Democracy last night seemed as haggard as EFF leader Julius ­Malema and as torn as his red overall.

Inside Parliament’s chamber the National Assembly laagered around President Jacob Zuma, but outside it was open hunting season on him as the forcibly removed EFF and ­voluntarily exiting DA members criticised the unprecedented events during Zuma’s State of the Nation address.

Malema said: “It is a sad day when ­democratically elected representatives of the people are thrown out by the police.”

Malema, whose white T-shirt was torn after he was frogmarched from the chamber, said the EFF will continue to demand “that the Number One Tsotsi [Zuma] answer the ­questions — even if they hit us”.

“We now see we live in a police state. When people do not have political solutions for ­political problems they use the security ­apparatus of the government.

“We have always said the ANC has changed South Africa into a police state and today has confirmed this.”

Malema said EFF MP Reneilwe Mashabela, who previously called Zuma a thief in Parliament, was taken to hospital after she was detained by seven police officers, one of whom allegedly hit her in the face with a shoe.

EFF MP Bernard Joseph said the security staff or police kicked and hit him.

Malema said they were also informed the men in white shirts who forcibly removed the EFF members from Parliament were members of the elite presidential protection unit. “This is a direct threat to our democracy, when police are called in to settle political differences.”

DA leader Helen Zille was also spitting fire and said the principle of the separation of powers was trampled last night when the Speaker called in security forces or police.

She said “a fish rots from the head”, adding South Africans could see after last night there was no respect from the president for the rule of law.

She said voters must take heed — last night’s violence was how a criminal state ­started. Zille said the DA members had left the chamber because they didn’t want to ­legitimise to the proceedings inside. She said the Constitution was trampled to protect one man. While this man was making his State of the Nation address, security officers ­guarded the gates of Parliament while police vehicles were parked in Plein Street in front of Parliament to keep the crowd in control.

EFF MPs toyi-toyied and sung struggle songs outside Parliament while Zuma’s speech droned on inside.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane repeated a ­question he asked in the chamber, would ­government next call in soldiers to attack and remove the elected opposition?

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