South African President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address was disrupted repeatedly by opposition lawmakers calling for him to step down.
Members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party walked out of the chamber after Speaker Baleka Mbete told them to leave because of their interruptions that delayed the annual speech for about an hour. Party lawmakers were forcibly ejected last year after they disrupted Zuma’s address, demanding that he pay back part of the money spent on a state-funded home upgrade.
“Zupta must fall,” the EFF members chanted as they left the chamber, a reference to Zuma’s friendship with the Gupta family, which has built a business empire spanning computer equipment, media and mining.
Earlier, several hundred people took part in a protest in Cape Town on Thursday organized by a group campaigning for Zuma to be replaced. Others wearing T-shirts bearing the emblem of the ruling African National Congress staged a separate march to show their support for the beleaguered president.
By: Amogelang Mbatha And Paul Vecchiatto