WATCH: SONA suspended after EFF disruptions
Cape Town - National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has suspended the House ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address because of disruptions by the Economic Freedom Fighters.
She said that she would ring the bell to inform Members of Parliament when they would reconvene.
Earlier Modise shot down demands by the EFF during the opening of Parliament that former president FW De Klerk be ejected from the house.
One minute into proceedings, EFF leader Julius Malema stood on a point of order, saying De Klerk had “blood on his hands”.
“We please request de Klerk to leave this house,” said Malema.
But Modise said Thursday’s sitting was called for one item, to give Ramaphosa the space to address the nation.
“It is convention that all former living presidents are invited to the sitting," she said.
“Former president de Klerk has been invited because of that. I therefore cannot sustain the submission you have made and rule it out of order.”
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu then also stood and asked why a “white’s only president” elected by the apartheid government should be invited.
Various EFF members stood up and continued to try to address the issue, with Malema again trying to get De Klerk thrown out.
Eventually, former Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the matter should be put to a vote. This was agreed upon by Mandela and the EFF.
But Modise threw the rule book at the MPs, saying no vote would be allowed in a joint seating.
“The matter is closed,” she said, and called on Ramaphosa to make his state of the nation address (SONA).
African News Agency/ANA