Fist fights break out in Parliament

Cape Town - Fist fights broke out as Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were dragged out of the National Assembly during the State of the Nation address on Thursday evening.

The MPs tried to stand their ground after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them to leave, but officers dragged them out.

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu confronted a few officers and another fight broke out.

Some of the protection officers' shirts were ripped off and they stood bare-chested as a result of the disruption.

Security officers blocked journalists from going near the EFF MPs.

Police and protection officers were apparently taking the rowdy EFF MPs to a location on the precinct.

EFF leader Julius Malema and some of his MPs had interrupted President Jacob Zuma's speech.

National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise explained the presiding officers had a right to call in security.

"We have indeed repeatedly called members during a joint sitting to heed the call to take a seat," she said.

She said all avenues were exhausted before security was called in.

"We are also empowered... to ask for security whichever security to act... I think we should allow this House to do its business," Modise said.


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