Cape Town - 140618 - Pictured is the EFF's Julius Malema. The State of the Nation Debate started today and will continue tomorrow as parties debate the address the President made the evening before. Picture: David Ritchie (083 652 4951)

Parliament - The Economic Freedom Fighters will rule the country, the party's leader Julius Malema told MPs in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Speaking shortly after President Jacob Zuma delivered his budget vote speech, Malema said other political parties had grossly underestimated the EFF and the support it enjoyed among South Africans.

The party celebrates its first birthday on Saturday.

“We said on the 26 of July 1/82013 3/8 that the EFF is a government in waiting. If anyone still doubts that today, that person needs... medical attention,” Malema said.

While repeating accusations that the African National Congress was protecting white monopoly capital, the fiery former Zuma ally did have a few good words for the ruling party.

“We want to take this opportunity to congratulate the members of the ruling party for coming out openly today in support of the Palestinian struggle,” he said.

Malema called on ANC MPs to put pressure on Zuma to expel the Israeli ambassador to South Africa.

He made brief mention of EFF members storming the Gauteng legislature on Tuesday, during a protest against the removal of the party's MPLs during a sitting on July 1.

“We also want to agree with the minister of police that police must not be a force, but a service because what we came to expect yesterday is a result of police being turned into a force.”

Malema went on to list the reasons why the party would continue to fight the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP).

“The NDP aims to diminish workers' rights and their protection because it proposes cheaper labour mechanisms as a means of attracting investment,” he said.

Malema was interrupted twice by ANC MPs, including Mandla Mandela, who objected to his statements.

Before running out of time, Malema took a parting shot at Cyril Ramaphosa by saying: “Mr President, be careful of your deputy president who sleeps with white monopoly capital.”