EFF leader Julius Malema claims the physical altercation between the party’s members and police outside City Hall in Cape Town on Thursday evening was due to officers trying to block the party from doing its job.

In video footage, minutes before the State of the Nation Address, EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is seen walking with his colleagues while clutching a phone to his ear. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-

He pushes aside a police officer who approaches him before shoving another one standing in his way.

A stand-off ensues between the MPs and officers, who try to stop the politicians, presumably to check their identification cards. 

One of the MPs is seen showing the officers his parliamentary access card around his neck.

According to Malema, the MPs retaliated after they were blocked by police officers from entering City Hall.

“The police always come here agitated. But there is a problem here of racist police, amongst the coloured officers and white officers,” he told journalists.

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Malema said when police officers saw EFF members, “they just get angry”.

“These are Members of Parliament. If you look at that commotion, the [secretary-general] is showing them the card that we are Members of Parliament.