President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed disappointment about the delays caused by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening.

The SONA began almost an hour and a half late following repeated points of order – mainly by the EFF.

Speaking at the Presidential Golf Challenge at Melkbosstrand in Cape Town on Friday, the President says South Africans should have been presented with the speech on time.

The EFF called for former President FW de Klerk to leave the chamber following an interview last week where he said ‘Apartheid was not a crime against humanity’ and demanding that Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, be fired.

“It was a delay that was not only imposed on the parliamentarians but the people of South Africa;  the people of South Africa in their homes and wherever they were waiting to hear the State of the Nation. So, it was most unfortunate, as far as I am concerned, that we, as parliamentarians, displayed such disregard.”

Watch the video of President Ramaphosa reacting to SONA disruptions:

EFF defends its actions

Meanwhile, the EFF has defended its decision to call for points of order at the SONA, saying they did not believe that President Ramaphosa would keep to the promises made in the speech.

EFF Spokesperson, Delisile Ngwenya, explains the reasons behind their actions.

“There was no way we could allow Ramaphosa to continue speaking to South Africans and continue making all those promises that he knew very well he was not going to keep. We were not happy with seeing De Klerk in that gallery – the man who said with his own mouth that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. We did not want to see Gordhan sitting there because of all the problems we see in our SOEs is because of him and his agenda to turn this country into economic failure.”

EFF says they believe a number of South Africans were in support of their move to disrupt the State of the Nation Address on Thursday night.