Cape Town - President Zuma has condemned the chaotic scenes witnessed in Parliament during his State of the Nation Adress on Thursday, saying they did not reflect the character of the country.
He was supported by Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela, who said the agenda of the EFF was to gain publicity ahead of the next elections.
Zuma said the behaviour of the EFF did not reflect the character of the country, and the party did not represent the views of most South Africans.
He said the country could not afford to be held to ransom by the behaviour of a few MPs.
Manamela said the people of South Africa expressed their political will through a democratic process.
The country would not allow the EFF to subvert the democratic process through their behaviour.
He said motions of no confidence had been brought against Zuma and each time these had been defeated.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu called for serious action to be taken against the EFF.
He said Parliament should charge the EFF criminally and also discipline them.
Mthembu said the EFF was abusing the constitution to disrupt parliamentary proceedings.
He said the EFF was misinterpreting the judgment of the Constitutional Court on Nkandla.
“If they thought we breached the constitution, they would have long gone to the Constitutional Court,” said Mthembu.
He also criticised the DA for requesting a moment of silence to mark the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng for what he termed political point scoring.
He said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi would address Parliament on this matter and inform MPs about progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman.
Mthembu said the DA had not consulted the ANC and Speaker Baleka Mbete about the minute’s silence ahead of Zuma’s address.
Earlier, DA leader Mmusi Maimane denied the party had been grandstanding on the issue.