Parliament mayhem a sad day for SA - DA

Cape Town - The DA has called the mayhem in Parliament on Thursday a "sad day for the state of democracy in our country".

EFF MPs refused to leave the National Assembly after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them out because they were "not serious" about proceedings. Long after being ordered out they were still sitting in their benches chanting and singing.

They had disrupted proceedings while President Jacob Zuma was answering questions about his Nkandla homestead.

DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimani said in a statement the speaker failed by not insisting that the President answer the question which the EFF rightfully put to him in terms of the rules.

"The Speaker acted with haste and unduly summoned the Sergeant at Arms to expel the Economic Freedom Fighters from proceedings in the House and ultimately called in the heavily armed riot police."

He added that the Sergeant at Arms’ inability to effectively address the "antics" within the House, was a cause for great concern.

"Members of the EFF failed, equally, by not respecting the proceedings of the House and removed Parliament’s opportunity to hold the President to account," Maimane said.

"There must be consequences for both of these failures which the DA will pursue.

"The true loss today (Thursday) was suffered by the people of South Africa who did not get answers from the President, to which they were rightfully entitled."

Maimane said the DA would now urgently meet with the speaker so that she commits to a rescheduling of oral question time with the President to continue the vital work which was interrupted.