S.Africa’s Malema thrown out of parliament over ‘murderer’ slur
Firebrand South African politician Julius Malema was Wednesday thrown out of parliament after refusing to retract comments in which he accused the country's deputy president of being a murderer.
Parliamentary presiding officer Mmatlala Boroto had ordered Malema to withdraw remarks he made last month against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying they were unproven and derogatory.
Instead Malema repeated that “Cyril Ramaphosa is a murderer and participated in the conspiracy to kill the workers in Marikana.”
“I will never withdraw that,” he said, “you can take me to jail for that.”
Thirty-four miners were killed at the Marikana platinum mine in 2012 when police opened fire on them during a wildcat strike.
Malema, leader of the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, was ordered to leave parliament following his remarks but he ignored the instruction and security was called in to remove the populist lawmaker.
He has now been suspended from parliament for five days, according to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
“In terms of the new rules such kind of conduct warrants an automatic suspension of five working days,” ANC parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo, told AFP.
It is not the first time Malema has been kicked out of parliament.
He was also sent out in June last year, a day after he used his maiden speech to accuse the government of killing the Marikana workers.
In February security forces were called in to evict Malema and his fellow lawmakers after they disrupted President Jacob Zuma’s annual state of the nation address.
A former leader of the ANC’s youth wing, Malema founded the EFF party in 2013 and took third place with just over six percent of the vote in last year’s election, securing 25 of the 400 parliamentary seats.