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Insults fly before and after EFF eviction

05 May 2016 - 09:21 By JAN-JAN JOUBERT and BIANCA CAPAZORIO

Parliament saw its worst violence in seven months when 16 EFF MPs present for the presidential budget vote were forcibly ejected from the building. The men and women who did the ejecting were supposedly parliamentary security staff, but wore civilian clothes, not uniforms.The EFF MPs were removed after refusing to allow President Jacob Zuma to start his budget debate speech.The party had earlier written to Speaker Baleka Mbete, stating that Zuma should not be allowed to address parliament because he had failed to uphold the constitution and faced the reinstatement of corruption charges.The EFF also requested an urgent debate on the matter but Mbete declined the request.An argument ensued and when EFF members refused Mbete's call to leave the house, they were forcibly evicted. Many of them, including female MP and EFF deputy chief whip Hlengiwe Hlophe, were manhandled.One MP was held in a choke-hold and another, Nazier Paulsen, was hit while trying to fight back.Scuffles between the EFF and the security staff continued outside the National Assembly.While the bouncers said they were simply doing their job, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu questioned if they were legitimate parliamentary employees and said criminal charges would be laid against them.DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the EFF's antics prevented the opposition from holding the president accountable. Steenhuisen added that parliamentary disciplinary charges had been laid against Paulsen after he called DA MP Yusuf Cassim a "k****r" at a debate on Tuesday.ANC caucus spokesman Moloto Mothapo said EFF members had also shown intolerance to Muslim and Indian MPs.He said ANC MP Mandla Mandela was called a "Muhammad" after his reported conversion to Islam, while MPs of Indian descent from various political parties have repeatedly been called "Guptas" ...

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