Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was ordered to leave Parliament on Thursday evening after he refused to withdraw his remarks that the ANC government was responsible for the killing of 34 Marika miners two years ago.
National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise ruled that Malema’s remarks were unparliamentary and that it did not accord with the decorum of the House.
“The statement [by Malema] suggests the government deliberately masscred [the Marikana workers]. It accuses it of murder. There is a commission of inquiry currently underway and it has not made any finding. It is undesirable [for anyone to preempt the outcome of the commission].
“Despite many attempts to call the honourable member [Malema] to order, he insisted that the ANC government [killed those workers],” said Modise, ordering Malema to withdraw the statement he made during his maiden speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
However, instead of withdrawing his statement, Malema tried to justify it. “Why, when statistics shows that crime rate is going down you are saying the ANC government is doing a good job, but you are having a problem with me saying the ANC government killed the Marikana workers?” asked Malema, prompting Modise to order him out of the House.
“You are leaving me with no choice but to kick you out of the House. Go out and make sure you close the door behind you,” said the angry Modise, while all members of the EFF also walked out in solidarity with their controversial leader.
It is not clear whether Malema will be allowed to attend Friday’s session where President Jacob Zuma will be responding to opposition parties’ State of the Nation debate.
Modise said she would establish a committee to investigate whether the behaviour of the EFF did not bring Parliament into disrepute.
On Wednesday, Malema had Modise’s hands full as members of Parliament from the ANC and Freedom Front Plus raised points of order against him for making what they regarded as unparliamentary remarks about the ANC government. He was also rapped over the knuckles for referring to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa by his name and not as honourable.
Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was also forced to withdraw her statement after she said Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has hired another “native”, in reference of DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.
Meanwhile, the office of the ANC chief whip condemned “the atrocious behaviour” of the EFF MPs in Parliament on Thursday evening.
“During their walkout, the EFF MPs howled and barked several derogatory utterances and made disturbing gestures. Such outrageous conduct not only brought the House into disrepute, but has never been seen in the 20 year history of this democratic Parliament,” said ANC chief whip Stone Sizani.
Sizani also welcomed the investigation in to the matter to bring “this repulsive conduct to book”.