Oh of South Africa A court on Tuesday upheld the ban on leaders of a spirited opposition party from attending President Cyril Ramaphosa’s opening speech to the new parliamentary session after they were sanctioned for disrupting the event a year ago.

The leader, deputy leader and four other officials with the Economic Freedom Fighters – the third largest party in parliament – will not be allowed in Thursday’s State of the Nation address.

Six lawmakers were suspended from parliament from February 1 to February 29. He was among a group of EFF members who were ordered out of the room by the speaker for disrupting Ramaphosa’s 2023 speech. But instead of leaving, the group led by EFF president Julius Malema jumped on stage and held up signs calling for Ramaphosa to step down before being forced out by security forces.

Julius Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters Party leader Julius Malema is removed from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address on February 9, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Isa Alexander/Pool Photo via AP, File)

EFF lawmakers disrupted parliamentary sessions and clashed with security officials on several occasions.

Malema, EFF vice-president Floyd Shiambo and others went to court to appeal their suspension. When he was disbarred, he filed another suit seeking the annulment of the new parliamentary laws under which he had been suspended. The Western Cape High Court rejected the challenge on Tuesday.

Malema, who was kicked out of the ruling party in 2012, is known for his controversial politics and has previously been accused by South African-born billionaires. Elon Musk of being anti-white and fueling racial tension.

The left-wing EFF says it represents South Africa’s poor black majority, which it argues has failed the African National Congress-led government and is the color of racial segregation that ended 30 years ago. Still economically disadvantaged due to the legacy of the barangay system. His policies are sometimes described by critics as anti-white.

EFF lawmakers often appear in parliament dressed in red industrial work clothes, rubber boots and hard hats similar to those worn by miners or construction workers to show solidarity with South Africa’s working class. Women EFF legislators wear uniforms similar to those worn by maids and domestic workers.

Ramaphosa may use his State of the Nation address to announce the date for this year’s national elections, which are due to be held between May and August.

ANC has been In government Since apartheid ended in 1994, this year’s vote could be a historic moment for South Africa. Polls suggest the ANC could slip below 50 percent of the vote for the first time. That would force him to stay in government and keep Ramaphosa as president for a second and final term.

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