A free-for-all brawl sparked by the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday hindered president Jacob Zuma from giving his first state of the nation speech since his re-election last May. Zuma had only just started speaking when EFF members began interrupting, demanding to ask the president about when he would repay part of a $23m (£15m) state-funded security upgrade of his rural home. A clearly angry Speaker, Baleka Mbete, warned several EFF members to sit down before ordering their removal by security officers, prompting a brief brawl in which several people were injured.

After EFF members including firebrand leader Malema were bundled out of the chamber by security staff, Malema clad in ripped t-shirt grumbled: “We have seen that we are part of a police state.”

News Africa says: Yea right, police state indeed. While the EFF and South Africans at large have the right to demand that Zuma accounts for misappropriated public funds, you Malema and your thuggish group chose the wrong moment to make your voice heard. The EFF needs to grow up and clean-up its act if it wants to be taken seriously.


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