A brawl broke out in South Africa’s parliament Thursday as guards exchanged punches with opposition lawmakers who shouted down President Jacob Zuma as he tried to deliver his state of the nation address.
In chaotic scenes, guards in white shirts forcibly ejected about 25 members from the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party who prevented Zuma from speaking for more than an hour.
“We have been patient with you, we have been trying to give you an opportunity to express yourselves but… it is being abused,” speaker Baleka Mbete told the EFF lawmakers before they were thrown out.
The president’s annual address to parliament has descended into mayhem for the past three years as the EFF — dressed in red workers’ overalls and berets — attempt to disrupt his speech.
UNBOTHERED BY VIOLENCE
Zuma, head of the ruling African National Congress party, appeared unbothered by the violence unfolding in the national assembly and finally took to the podium with his trademark chuckle.
Shortly before the guards moved in, EFF leader Julius Malema described Zuma as “an incorrigible man, rotten to the core”.
Malema also turned his ire on speaker Mbete, telling her: “Your conduct has failed you. You are irrational, impatient, partisan.”
Many benches in parliament were empty when Zuma finally spoke on Thursday evening after the main Democratic Alliance party also left the chamber in protest at alleged constitutional violations.
Outside, police fired several stun grenades to keep rival ANC and EFF supporters apart.
A huge security presence was mobilised to stop a repeat of last year when major clashes erupted on the streets of Cape Town.
Inside parliament, speaker Mbete said that pepper spray had been used in the gallery which affected the VIP guests attending the speech. She did not explain how the gas was discharged but promised an investigation into the incident.
Zuma, who is due to stand down before elections next year, used his speech to touch on familiar subjects including land reform, boosting black business ownership and tackling weak economic growth.
“Indications are that we have entered a period of economic recovery,” he said, predicting a 1.3 percent growth rate for 2017 compared with around 0.2 percent for 2016.
Zuma, 74, has faced growing public criticism over a series of damaging corruption scandals, worsening unemployment levels and the weak economy.
In December he beat back an attempt by at least four ministers to oust him, following local elections that delivered the ANC’s worst-ever results.
Inflation in South Africa hit 6.8 percent in December and unemployment has risen to a 13-year high of 27 percent.
Increased numbers of anti-apartheid veterans, ANC activists, trade unions, civil groups and business leaders have urged Zuma to resign.
“You must know that as a nation we no longer have confidence in your leadership,” Sipho Mila Pityana, leader of the Save SA action group, said on the eve of the speech.
However Zuma, who was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela under the apartheid regime, retains strong loyalty among many rank-and-file ANC party members and its lawmakers.
The president, a traditionalist leader who came to power in 2009, is widely seen as being at loggerheads with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, a reformist respected among international investors.
South Africa’s highest court last year found Zuma guilty of violating the constitution after he refused to repay taxpayers’ money used to refurbish his private rural home.
He is also fighting a court order that could reinstate almost 800 corruption charges against him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.
A separate probe by the country’s top watchdog uncovered evidence of possible criminal activity in his relationship with the Guptas, a business family accused of wielding undue political influence.
Billy old Billy [x2]
Man with the words of wisdom
They found his long black coat
On the banks of the river
‘Cause he never came back
In it’s pocket they found notes
He’ d written some time ago
About his so called friends
Love all your friends
But never trust any one of them
Which got me thinking about
My very own friends
Mirror mirror on the wall
Who is the deadliest of them all
I ask you now-tears in my eyes
Billy old Billy [x2]
Man with the words of wisdom
See them coming
Hear them talk
Never believe a word they say
He told me one day
Even behind the smile
That he wore on his wrinkled face
You could see the scars
Of hurt from the past
Which got me thinking of
My very own so called friend
Former president Mwai Kibaki underwent a successful neck surgery on Thursday, August 25, to remove a blood clot in one of his arteries.
A source privy to the whole operation said it went down well and that the procedure took approximately one hour.
The procedure was successful and the old man is back to the ward. It was a delicate procedure but thank God it was done without any hitch,” the source said as quoted by Standard.
Doctors at the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in South Africa where Kibaki is admitted had detected the clot which had caused a stroke to Kibaki at his Muthaiga home.
Despite the successful operation, Kibaki is, however, expected to remain at the hospital for the next one week as the doctors monitor his path to recovery, the source said.
“He will be in the hospital for another week as the medics monitor him and continue giving him the care he needs before he is released.”
Kibaki was flown to South Africa after being admitted to the Karen Hospital.
He was accompanied by his doctor Dan Gikonyo, a government doctor and his younger son Anthony Githinji.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was among those who visited him at the Karen Hospital and later on rallied Kenyans to pray for the former head of state.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga and other leaders also sent him quick recovery messages.
Kibaki served as Kenya’s third president between 2003 and 2013.
Wednesday September 23, 2015 – President Uhuru Kenyatta left his security handlers stranded at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Sunday night after he left the country to South Africa without his usual detail.
According to a source in State House, Uhuru left the country in a hurry, in what many believe was a very confidential visit.
“He left in a hurry and boarded a commercial flight. He did not even want security when he left,” a RECCE office who works at the PES said.
Uhuru came back on Monday night on board a Kenya Airways flight and sneaked back to State House the same way he skulked out on Sunday night.
Some Kenyans have complained about Uhuru’s trip to South Africa on Sunday saying that he ought to have informed them about it.
They said that Uhuru is putting his life at risk by leaving without security especially to South Africa – a country that is known to be one of the most dangerous destinations to visit in Africa because of its high crime rate.
“Uhuru must notify Kenyans whenever he goes out of the country. He should understand that he is a public figure and he should inform Kenyans about all his foreign trips,” a senior security expert told journalists on Tuesday.
Prior to 1994, immigrants from elsewhere faced discrimination and even violence in South Africa, though much of that risk stemmed from the institutionalised racism of the time due to apartheid. After democratisation in 1994, contrary to expectations, the incidence of xenophobia increased. Between 2000 and March 2008, at least 67 people died in what were identified as xenophobic attacks. In May 2008, a series of riots left 62 people dead; although 21 of those killed were South African citizens. The attacks were apparently motivated by xenophobia.
In 2015, another nationwide spike in xenophobic attacks against immigrants in general prompted a number of foreign governments to begin repatriating their citizens. One of the senior people connected to President Zuma encouraging the barberic behavior is President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son Edward Zuma who said recently that, he will not apologise or withdraw his anti-foreigner statements.
“The point I am trying to make is that the country [South Africa] is facing a serious problem when it comes to illegal immigrants. I am not going to withdraw my comments,” said Zuma even though He was born in another country.
He also criticised the Swaziland Solidarity Network’s claim that he was not proud of having been born in Swaziland.
“I want to clarify to the Swaziland Solidarity Network that I was born in Swaziland, but I am not proud to have been born there because of the current barbaric administration.
“I personally support the plight of the Swazi people who want democracy. But I am a citizen of South Africa and was merely stating that we have a problem,” he said. Below are some pictures showing poor mentality.