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S. African Lawmaker Ejected From Parliament After Outburst

  • Reuters

FILE - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema arrives with members of his party for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address in Cape Town, Feb. 12, 2015.

FILE - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema arrives with members of his party for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address in Cape Town, Feb. 12, 2015.

The leader of the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters party was thrown out of the South African parliament Wednesday after he called Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa a "murderer."

Julius Malema, clad in his party's trademark red overalls, was ejected from the chamber after he refused to withdraw his comments, saying, "I will never apologize to Cyril."

Malema and his party accuse Ramaphosa of having a hand in the 2012 killing of 34 striking miners who were shot by police near the Marikana mine operated by platinum producer Lonmin.

Ramaphosa was a director at Lonmin at the time and was cleared by a nearly three-year inquiry into what became known as the "Marikana massacre."

House Chairwoman Mmatlala Grace Boroto ruled that Malema's remarks were derogatory and asked him to leave.

Malema refused, prompting her to call the sergeant at arms to remove him. That led to a brief scuffle around the EFF benches as security guards pulled Malema away.

Ten other people were killed in Marikana violence, including two police officers who were hacked to death.

The shootings led to intense public and media criticism toward the police, mining companies, unions and the ruling African National Congress.

Malema, who previously headed the youth league of the ruling African National Congress, has disrupted parliament before. He and members of his party were removed by force after disrupting President Jacob Zuma's annual address in February.

At the time, Malema was demanding to be allowed to ask the president about when he would repay part of a $23 million state-funded security upgrade of his rural home. Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

South Africa's usually calm parliament has been shaken up by the EFF's capture of 25 seats in last year's election.

EFF members sport red overalls and hard hats in the chamber in a symbol of their solidarity with the working classes.

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