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Tue Dec 06 10:19:13 SAST 2016

Malema, not Zuma opens parliament at #SONA2016

Agency Staff | 2016-02-11 19:17:56.0
Economic Freedom Fighters singing outside the National Assembley during the State of the Nation at Parliament
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Moments before a tense-looking President Jacob Zuma was due to start his address at the opening of Parliament on Thursday evening, EFF leader Julius Malema stood up.

He was supporting the Economic Freedom Fighter's Floyd Shivambu, who started saying he was seeking clarity on the rules of the House, to which Speaker Baleka Mbete replied that she would "not like to give attention" to the matter now.

Shivambu said he wanted assurance he would be allowed to speak before Zuma took to the podium.

Mbete attempted to continue with proceedings, but then she exchanged words with Malema, who told her he wanted to deal with questions to the president before the opening ceremony starts.

"I don't want to stand up while the president is there," said Malema.

Mbete said: "On this occasion, no business other than the address by the president is [being] entertained."

Rumblings went through the Parliament, ending in a screaming match between Malema and Mbete.

"Allow us to speak," Malema shouted.

"We must be governed by rules here not emotions."

Source: News24

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