Punches thrown, blood spilled: When politicians fight

Violent scuffles erupted in South Africa's parliament on Thursday during a speech from President Jacob Zuma. Here's a look at some other fights, feuds and fisticuffs from the world of politics.

Who said politics was civilized? Check out these instances when politicians really lost their cool

Scuffles in South Africa.

(Sumaya Hisham/Reuters)

Violent scuffles erupted in South Africa's parliament on Thursday when members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party fought with security officers as they were ejected from the chamber for interrupting President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation speech.

The opposition MPs called Zuma a "scoundrel" and "rotten to the core" because of corruption allegations.

(Sumaya Hisham/Reuters)

The brawl began when EFF members were being forcibly removed from the chamber by security guards. The raucous scene unfolded on national television as opposition legislators tried to stop Zuma from addressing the chamber, repeatedly insulting the president and declaring him unfit for office.

(Sumaya Hisham/AFP/Getty Images)

This wasn't a first for South Africa.

A man throws a fire extinguisher at security guards behind a closed door after members of the EFF were evicted from Parliament in Cape Town in May, 2016. 

(Mike Hutchings/Reuters)

Tussles in Turkey.

Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) lawmaker Muhittin Aksak, right, and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Mahmut Tanal scuffle during a parliamentary debate in Ankara in February 2012. 


Turkish member of parliament Ali Ihsan Kokturk's nose bleeds after a brawl broke out during a debate on a draft law in 2014.


A skirmish in Somalia.

Members of the Somali parliament fight after a majority voted against the speaker of the parliament in southern Mogadishu, December 2011.

(Feisal Omar/Reuters)

Squabbles in South Korea. 

Opposition legislators help their colleague escape a melee at the National Assembly plenary session hall in Seoul in December 2010. Brawls between South Korean lawmakers broke out amid debates over the country's 2011 budget.

(Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters)

Here, parliamentary security guards take a tumble during a scuffle with South Korean legislators over a U.S. trade deal in 2009.

(Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters)

A tiff in Taiwan.

Lawmakers in Taiwan threw objects, splashed water and kicked one another during a 2010 debate over how fast to ratify a trade pact with China, sending two people to the hospital.

(Nicky Loh/Reuters)

Clashes in Kiev.

Skirmishes and bouts of violence have erupted on several occasions in Ukrainian Parliament. Below, opposition members throw buckwheat — a symbol of bribing voters — at newly elected deputy Viktor Pylypyshyn as he takes his oath in January 2014.

(Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

Forget the buckwheat! Here, deputies throw punches during a parliamentary session in Kiev in April 2014.

(Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

A Ukrainian deputy removes then-prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk from the tribune, after presenting him with a bouquet of roses during a parliament session in December 2015.

(Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

Hostility in Hong Kong.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung throws an object at Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang (not pictured) to demand a universal retirement protection scheme during the annual budget report in February 2015.

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

With files from The Associated Press