WATCH: 'De Klerk must leave this house,' says Julius Malema

Former president FW De Klerk and his wife before the State of the Nation address.
Former president FW De Klerk and his wife before the State of the Nation address.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

As expected proceedings in parliament were brought to a screeching halt by the EFF ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address on Thursday evening.

Just as the house sat to listen to the state of the nation address, EFF leader Julius Malema raised a point of order questioning why speaker Thandi Modise had extended an invitation to De Klerk.

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Malema called for former president F.W de Klerk to leave parliament as he was a president who had presided over an apartheid government.

“Honourable speaker we have a murderer in the house. A man who has blood of innocent people…It is incorrect for you to have extended an invitation to De Klerk because he is a murderer with blood of his hands."

“The people of Boipatong are turning on their graves. De Klerk said apartheid was not a crime against humanity. He is unrepentant…It is an insult to those who died and were tortured under the instruction of De Klerk to have him sitting in a democratic parliament. Please request De Klerk to leave because he does not belong to this house,” Malema said.

Modise ruled that the Malema and the EFF’s request could not be agreed to. She said it was Parliament’s tradition to invite former presidents to the state of the nation address.

FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder urged the house not to debate the past.

“In 1994 there was an election where everyone got elected and Mr De Klerk was appointed the deputy president of South Africa. So the precedent that you have set is a correct one and we must proceed…,” Mulder said.

The drama forced the oldest MP former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to intervene trying to save the house from anarchy.

“I was wondering whether we can all have our say, and the only way is to put the matter through a vote so that we can all have a say,” Buthelezi said.

But Modise stamped her authority reading the rules preventing the decision to go on a vote.

“I have made a ruling on the matter. I said that any hand that comes up will not be speaking again on De Klerk. I don’t know what ruling you want. Can I take you back to the Joint Rules, Rule13.2 says no vote or decision may be taken by or in a joint sitting. I made a ruling on that matter. That matter is closed,” Modise said.

The EFF indicated this month that they would disrupt the president’s speech demanding for public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan to be removed from office.

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