Malema booted out, EFF walks

20 June 2014 - 02:42 By Thabo Mokone
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Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema ended his first week of debate in parliament dramatically, leading a walkout of his MPs after being ejected from the House.

Thandi Modise, chairman of the National Council of Provinces, had asked Malema to withdraw a statement he made on Wednesday, in which he said the ANC had massacred the Marikana mineworkers killed in August 2012.

Modise ruled that the EFF leader's remarks were "unparliamentary" because they suggested that the government had decided to kill the people of Marikana.

"Honourable members, having perused Hansard, I have arrived at the conclusion that the statements made by the honourable Malema are unparliamentary and do not accord with the decorum of this house. Although members enjoy freedom of speech during the proceedings of this house, this freedom is subject to limitations imposed by the constitution and joint rules," said Modise before ordering Malema to withdraw his massacre comments.

Malema refused to withdraw the statement.

He remained defiant last night and instead again tried to justify his assertion.

"Chair, when people say 'reduce crime', you come here and say the ANC has reduced crime. And when police kill people, you don't want us to come here and say the ANC government has killed people, that is inconsistent, honourable chair," he said.

In a sharp exchange with a controlled Modise, Malema remained stubborn and refused to withdraw on two occasions.

"I won't do that; I am sorry I won't do that . I maintain [that] the government of the ANC killed people in Marikana," said Malema in his exchange with Modise.

"You leave me no choice but to ask you leave the House," she said.

As he packed his belongings prior to leaving the chamber, his 25 MPs disrupted the proceedings by shouting at Modise, "reminding" her that she was premier of North West when the Marikana killings took place.

"You were the premier, Thandi ... mercenaries ... murderers," they shouted.

As they marched out of the chamber, the EFF lawmakers chanted "Malema o tshela thupa (Malema is giving them a hiding)".

But this just brought more trouble down on Malema and the MPs who walked out with him.

ANC MP Mamoloko Kubayi said there should be an investigation of the EFF caucus for bringing parliament into disrepute.

"The rules do create the opportunity for us to do exactly as you recommend; we shall do so," Modise said.

ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani said the behaviour of EFF MPs was "atrocious and had never been seen in the 20-year history of this democratic parliament".

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