Parliamentary meeting suspended as chaos erupts

A sitting of South Africa’s National Assembly was suspended on Friday after lawmakers from the radical Economic Freedom Fighters disrupted proceedings for a second day, preventing President Cyril Ramaphosa from replying to a debate on his office’s budget allocation.

Security officers forcibly wrestled some EFF members from the debating chamber, while others who were participating in the proceedings remotely were cut off from the online system, before the Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula halted proceedings.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid charges against Ramaphosa last week, accusing him of concealing the theft of more than $4 million from the Phala Phala farm in February 2020, and the EFF has labeled him a criminal. Ramaphosa has confirmed that money he earned from the sale of animals was taken while he was attending an African Union summit in Ethiopia, but far less than Fraser alleged, and denied doing anything wrong.

Read: Cattle sale that dragged Ramaphosa into political storm is back

The National Prosecuting Authority hasn’t decided whether to pursue the charges against the president.

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