Scuffles mar Pan-African Parliament election

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Scuffles broke out at a Pan-African Parliament session which is being held in South Africa’s Midrand municipality, north of Johannesburg.

Monday’s session was set to elect a new leader for the continental body.

The election was to be held last week but it was suspended after a participant tested positive for Covid-19.

That meeting had also been marred by a scuffle between South Africa opposition leader Julius Malema and a delegate from Mali.

In a widely shared video, Mr Malema could be heard telling the MP from Mali that he would “kill him”. He later defended his comments saying he had been threatened.

It’s unclear what sparked fighting during Monday’s session but EWN news site reports that some members exchanged blows and someone could be heard shouting: “Please call the police, it is urgent. You should call the police.”

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Ahead of the meeting Mr Malema had told South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC that there was a disagreement between other members and MPs from the Francophone countries over who to back for the body’s leadership.

The Pan-African Parliament, also known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union.

It has been touted as a “political transitory arrangement towards the United States of Africa”.