Protest forces South Africa President to suspend speech

Cheryl Sanders
February 14, 2020

But Thursday night's events in the National Assembly, where the EFF prevented President Cyril Ramaphosa from delivering his State of the Nation Address, have again proved that Julius Malema's party does not believe in a constitutional democracy.

"We remember, it was said Eskom was going to be doing components so that there can be some improvement, but there is none", he said.

He said it was wrong for parliament to have invited De Klerk to attend the opening of parliament and demanded that the former president leave.

"De Klerk is an unrepentant apologist of apartheid, who is not willing to accept that apartheid was a crime against humanity. It is an insult to those who died and (who were) tortured ... under the instructions of De Klerk to have De Klerk sitting in a democratic parliament".

De Klerk served as president from 1989-1994, bringing the apartheid system of racial segregation to an end after negotiating a transition to majority rule.

"I, therefore, suggest we please request de Klerk to leave this house".

The EFF also wanted Ramaphosa to fire the Minister of State Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, alleging he has run down state-owned enterprises. The EFF claims Gordhan is mismanaging the country's assets and accuse him of supporting what they call "white monopoly capital".

Instead, he added, Parliament has become "a place of fairytales and spin - where the ruling party will do all it can to present a sugar-coated version of the past, present and future, and hide the ugly truth from the people". On leaving the house, the members shouted, "We're leaving you with your De Klerk and Pravin".

The parliamentary speaker had to temporarily suspend the sitting to restore calm.

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