Members of South Africa’s opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been removed from parliament after they tried to block President Jacob Zuma from speaking.
EFF lawmakers heckled and chanted “Zuma leave the house” during the president’s first appearance in parliament since two damning court rulings against him.
The speaker ordered security officers to throw them out.
On April 29, a court said that Jacob Zuma should be charged with corruption.
The case is related to a multi-billion dollar arms deal the government negotiated in 1999.
South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money used to upgrade his private home in the rural area of Nkandla.
Jacob Zuma denies any wrongdoing, and says he will continue to “shepherd” the nation. His term is due to end in 2019.
Punches were exchanged and parliamentary benches knocked over as plain-clothed security officers dragged the EFF MPs out of their seats and evicted them from the chamber, AFP news agency reports.
The lawmakers had earlier denounced Jacob Zuma as an “illegitimate” ruler who should step down.
The High Court said on April 29 that prosecutors should review their 2009 decision to drop 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against Jacob Zuma over the arms deal.
After the Constitutional Court ruling, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, failed in a bid to impeach Jacob Zuma after the governing African National Congress (ANC) rallied behind him in parliament.