President Zuma was delayed for more than one hour before he could deliver his State of the Nation address.
First DA MPs drew attention to the jamming of cellphone signals in the parliamentary chamber. After the intervention of the Speaker the jamming equipment was turned off.
President Zuma started his speech but was soon interrupted by members of the EFF who raised points of order. After a number of interjections the Speaker ordered a number of EFF MPs to leave the building. When they refused she called in the Sergeant at Arms and later 'security services' to remove them.
A number of EFF MPs were injured and one was treated at hospital for injuries received when they were removed from parliament.
When the 'security services' entered the chamber TV cameras were moved to show the presiding officers so that the public could not see the imbroglio. However journalists and MPs who were present in the chamber recorded events with cellphones.The videos were later posted on YouTube and are shared below.
DA MPs objected to the presence of SAPS members in the parliamentary chamber so they walked out of the building, followed by Cope and UDM members.
President Zuma then continued with his prepared speech and made no reference to the earlier problems.
After the speech government representatives said they were "disappointed and disgusted" at what it described as the "despicable" conduct of some elected public representatives.
Reacting to the chaos that erupted in parliament earlier during the delivery of the State of the Nation Address, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said government condemned the "unruly and un-parliamentary conduct" of some Members of Parliament “whose intention is to render this respectable institution ungovernable”.
“The events that unfolded in Parliament were aimed at bringing our hard earned democracy into disrepute,” Minister Radebe said.
Videos taken at Parliament
What do you think about the scuffles that happened in parliament? Are the EFF MPs embarrassing the country, or are they carrying out the mandate of the electorate who voted for them by trying to hold the President to account?
Is it acceptable that TV cameras were moved so that the public could not see the 'security services' scuffling with MPs as they removed them from the chamber?
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