Parliament, Cape Town - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was asked to leave the National Assembly on Thursday night, after refusing to withdraw a remark accusing the ANC of murdering mineworkers in Marikana.
Malema made the remarks during his maiden speech on day one of the state-of-the-nation debate on Wednesday.
“I have arrived at the conclusion that the statements made by honourable Malema are unparliamentary and do not accord with the decorum of this house,” National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise said during her ruling at the end of Thursday's debate.
Modise said that while freedom of speech was allowed in Parliament, it was subject to limitations imposed by the constitution.
“The statement made by honourable Malema suggests that the government, which is made up of members of this House, deliberately decided to massacre people. This does not only impute improper motive, but also accused them of murder.”
Modise then asked Malema to withdraw his remarks.
Instead of withdrawing, Malema replied: “Chair, when police reduce crime you come here and say the ANC has reduced crime. When police kill people, you don't want us to come here and say the ANC government has killed people. That is inconsistent, honourable chair.”
Modise again insisted Malema withdraw his statement.
“I'm sorry, I won't do that,” a defiant Malema said.
Modise said she had not alternative but to ask the fiery EFF leader to “leave the house”.
Malema and his fellow EFF MPs started filing out of the house, but not before disrupting proceedings.
Several EFF MPs started switching on their mics and shouting accusations at both Modise and those in ANC benches.
“The ANC murdered people” and “you were the premier when people were killed” reverberated through the house, resulting in Modise asking ushers to escort the EFF members out of the chamber.