Chaos in Parliament as EFF Demands Answers on Nkandla

By Oliver Ngwenya    23-Aug-2014 01:52 UTC+02:00 17
Julius Malema in Parliament. Image: Times Live.

Julius Malema in Parliament.
Image: Times Live.

The National Assembly on Thursday deteriorated in chaos and anarchy after the Members of Parliament for the Economic Freedom Fighters disrupted proceedings with chants of “pay back the money”. The furore started during the question and answer session with the President regarding the Nkandla debacle. The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, questioned that and with the backing of the other MPs and their supporters in the public gallery, literally brought the house down. They started chanting “pay back the money” while Malema was asking the President to elaborate on when he would pay the money back. He attempted to get Zuma to give a date when he would pay back the money.

This follows an investigation that was done by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela who, in her report aptly entitled “Secure in Comfort” stated that President Jacob Zuma and his family benefitted improperly from the security upgrades that were carried out on his Nkandla home. The Public Protector recommended, among other things that the President reimburses the State part of the R246 million that was used for the upgrades. In his response to the report which came more than three months after it was expected, Jacob Zuma gave no specific action on his part and instead called on the Police Minister to establish what portion, if any, he would need to pay back.

On Thursday, following the questions put to him by the leader of EFF, Zuma’s response was merely that he had responded appropriately to Madonsela’s report and therefore did not feel that another response was necessary. This enraged the EFF MPs and supporters in the gallery, which led to more chants and songs which called for the President to be killed. When the speaker called on the EFF caucus to leave the chamber, they refused and continued with their song and chants. At some point, it looked like Mbete would call in the police into parliament to forcibly remove the red clad figures. However, she ended up asking the other members to vacate the National Assembly so that Malema and his entourage could be removed with less drama. The press could also not be removed from this clearly unfolding story and stayed put despite the insistence of the parliamentary officials. A violent confrontation was almost about to unfold when ANC MPs attempted to get back in, ostensibly to help get rid of the errant EFF members.

Commenting on the happenings, the spokesman for the ruling ANC, Zizi Kodwa said that his party was “appalled by the behavior of the honour able members” and further advised that if there was disagreement in parliament, it should be done with decorum and respect, adding that all South Africans were embarrassed by this incident. Mmusi Maimane, the Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader called on the EFF to remember that Parliament was a place to legislate for South Africans and not a rally. He was also unforgiving of Ms Mbete, whom he said had failed to control the House and had made the situation worse by calling for the intervention of the police. The speaker, Ms Mbete, in a press conference later on the day, apologized to fellow South Africans on the happenings in Parliament and blamed it all on the EFF who, she said, were being reckless with the dignity of South Africans who had elected them to Parliament. In defence of his party, Julius Malema said they were acting in the interest of their constituents. According to parliamentary regulations, despite the events on Thursday, the EFF will be able and allowed to take up their seats in the next National Assembly plenary session without any problems. If there is need for a harsher punishment for them, this has to be decided by a resolution of the House.


  1. elinah phiri says:

    malema and his coleages should never be aloud to come back in parliament until they learn about respect or how to follow a protocols…and that his full of nonsensi and apartheid

  2. Mavis Vermicast says:

    Gotta love Juju

  3. justice says:

    zuma must try to answer the questions,we need the truth and he must also pay the money.other people are in prison for stealing. yena ke mang? god or what?

  4. Moses Gumbe says:

    what goes around comes around

  5. sinenhlanhla says:

    we need answer from president when he wil pay back the money he is owing thats all

  6. thabo says:

    zuma ha patale tjhelete eo

  7. khumalo jabu says:

    there is nothing wrong eyenziwe ngu juju kode kube nini sivotela ukuhlupheka …..wake up South Africa its time to change

  8. Lefu Sello says:


  9. Fredericks Mazia says:

    The world have to know the truth,being corrupt President does’nt help because he is misleading the country but then if he did actions must be taken like anyone else.

  10. Curly says:

    What’s the problem? EFF is a product of the ANC and is only employing proven ANC tactics. No more sleeping for lazy MP’s. The ANC should take on the EFF in a political debate outside the House and make noises that the voters can believe in. What is happening in some African countries will surely start in the RSA. You get rid of a problem before it kills you. Watch this space.

    • Whatdoyknow says:

      In Africa you don’t get rid of a problem. You can only create more. Their are too many people lusting after power and money to ever have a balanced government. On top of that the culture of entitlement has been born into them as soon as they are into power.

  11. Frank says:

    Yes guys Zuma must pay but Malema and his members must respect the parliament.

  12. Zandi says:

    If abantu abanayo imbeko abakwazi nokumamela kwenzeka ezizinto. EFF members are rude and childish, shame on us blacks coz zivuyiswa zizinto ezingakhiyo

  13. Ronel Sampson says:

    While I agree that the president should be called to account on when the Nkandla money will be paid back (afterall, the interests of the public should be protected and someone should provide answers), I disagree with the manner in which it was done. There is a time and place that calls for the kind of spectacle described in the article but Parliament calls for civilised behaviour. It is possible to make the other person stew while maintaining your own dignity. With that being said, well done Malema on making the president stew in his own juices!

  14. SteveGrobler says:

    Anyone with two or more brain cells will know that this nothing to rejoice about, however, Zuma is the problem. He clearly has zero leadership capability, doesn’t know right from wrong and is an immense burden to the tax-paying public with his extravagant lifestyle and many wives. The ANC can easily neutralise the EFF onslaught by simply getting rid of him and have the government lay claim to his ill-gotten assets. Not sure what you can do with them, but Zuma is not entitled to have them.

  15. Ronnie Mabasa says:

    EFF won’t go to parliment and became a parcel, they asked the question why the president avoid some question the Pungisa want to know

  16. Ronnie Mabasa says:

    Mbete let the president answear the question. She is in a wrong place in a wrong time.

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