South African opposition MPs disrupt president's speech

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'Murderer in house': South African president's address disrupted

South Africa's far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) legislators have protested inside Parliament, forcing President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon his annual state of the nation address for a while.

"Honorable speaker, we have got a murderer in the house".

"De Klerk is an unrepentant apologist of apartheid, who is not willing to accept that apartheid was crime against humanity".

The back and forth over rules of the National Assembly led to the Speaker Thandi Modise temporarily suspending the Sona.

Former Fees Must Fall activist Vuyani Pambo began the confrontation, saying "can the president please sit down" before saying the EFF would help run Parliament. "It is an insult to those who died and (who were) tortured ... under the instructions of De Klerk to have De Klerk sitting in a democratic parliament". It is a convention that all former presidents who are still alive are invited to this sitting.

The Boipatong massacre is one of the bloodiest and brutal moments of popular violence that engulfed South Africa in the decade between 1984 and 1993; De Klerk was president of South Africa under the apartheid regime from 1989 to 1994.

Inkatha's Buthelezi suggested a vote get taken as to whether De Klerk be allowed to remain or not.

The party has repeatedly stated their intention to hold President Cyril Ramaphosa accountable for appointing Pravin Gordhan as Public Enterprises Minister. The EFF claims Gordhan is mismanaging the country's assets and accuse him of supporting what they call "white monopoly capital".

EFF members got rowdy when their microphones were later switched off after the president had started speaking, but they chanted, interrupting him for a second time and delaying his speech for about an hour.

The opposition legislators were later sent out of Parliament at the resumption of proceedings.

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