Leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema interrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address (SONA) in Cape Town on Thursday, leading to disruptions.
Just as Ramaphosa began speaking, Malema rose on a point of order, calling for the speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to order Ramaphosa to sit down while he addressed the house. Malema argued that the president must sit down according to the procedure.
Malema then called for Mapisa-Nqakula to close proceedings, stating that Ramaphosa’s decision to take parliament to the court showed a lack of confidence in the legislative body. Malema claimed that if Ramaphosa were to win the case, it would mean that parliament acted unlawfully against him.
Opposition parties were expected to resist Ramaphosa’s SONA address, calling for realistic solutions to the crisis facing the country, particularly with regard to load-shedding.
Ramaphosa’s address was expected to focus on the economic recovery plans in place as well as efforts to resolve the issue of unemployment. The president is currently taking the Section 89 panel’s report to the Constitutional Court for review.
Mapisa-Nqakula started the proceedings by reminding MPs that they were not allowed to interrupt the president’s speech and could only raise points with the speaker’s permission. She warned MPs that “spurious points of order are out of order”.
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