ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema became the first casualty of new stricter parliamentary rules when he was physically removed from the National Assembly (NA) for refusing to withdraw disparaging remarks made against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Malema was asked to stand and withdraw a statement he made in the NA calling Ramaphosa a murderer. Malema was referring to the Marikana massacre in which 34 miners were killed at the Lonmin mine in the North West in 2012 while Ramaphosa was a director of the mining company.
House chairwoman Mmatlala Boroto ruled that Malema’s remarks were derogatory, and therefore unparliamentary and called on him to withdraw.
Instead of withdrawing the statement, Malema repeated: “Cyril is a murderer and Cyril participated in the conspiracy to murder miners.”
When Boroto asked him to “leave the House”, Malema refused.
“I’m not leaving. Those bouncers…call them. I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
The serjeant-at-arms had little luck convincing Malema to leave the NA chamber quietly.
After calling in the parliamentary protection services, several non-uniformed men rushed into the House to remove Malema.
They managed to escort him out, despite being briefly obstructed by Malema’s fellow EFF MPs.
In terms of rule 54, Malema is now automatically suspended from Parliament for five days, and may not enter the premises during that period. – ANA