CAPE Town — Most of the EFF MPs removed from the National Assembly during President Jacob Zuma’s eighth State of the Nation address were beaten up, party leader Julius Malema said yesterday. “We were face down . . . we were assaulted up until we went into the main corridor of parliament,” Malema said at a press conference in Cape Town.
“Anything red was just removed,” he said.
He said that during the removal the door became blocked by the number of people trying to get through it. “We were beaten big time,” he said.
On Thursday night, fist fights broke out when Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were dragged out the National Assembly during the State of the Nation address.
The MPs tried to stand their ground after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them to leave, but security officers dragged them out.
When EFF MP Floyd Shivambu confronted some of the officers, another fight broke out.
Some of the protection officers’ shirts were ripped off and they stood bare-chested as a result of the disruption. Security officers blocked journalists from going near the EFF MPs.
Responding to questions yesterday, Malema said: “There was one (officer) who was obsessed with my balls. He was pulling them.
“That is what we had to deal with yesterday.”
Malema said it was never the EFF’s intention to provoke in the House, and that they had gone in to carry out a “performance of duty”.
EFF members repeatedly rose to ask questions on rules and on points of order.
He said Mbete had a mandate from the African National Congress. “All she knows is an ANC obsession.”
Malema said the EFF would do it again if it had the opportunity.
“We don’t care actually. It looks like they will have to bring those police permanently in that House because we are not scared of those people.
“They must bring 20 per door for 25 members,” he said to laughter from EFF members at the press conference.
“And they know what happened before they take us out. It is not an easy thing.”
Malema said the EFF had known about the security plan before they went into the House.
He said the security officials involved were “not just ordinary police, but highly-trained police officers”.
“They drilled (marched) into the Chamber. They stood at attention then they attacked.”
Malema said: “Out of the 100, only eight of them were from Parliament security.”
Before the fight broke out, Malema had asked Mbete to show him which rule prevented him from asking questions during the president’s State of the Nation address.
Mbete told Malema she would not allow any other points of order to be raised and also told EFF MP Floyd Shivambu to leave the Chamber after he also tried to ask a question.
A third EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Mbete she was not “a bishop” and she asked him to leave as well. — Sapa.