No holds barred in National Assembly chaos

2014-11-13 18:46

Members of Parliament’s protection services had their hands full keeping angry MPs in check outside the National Assembly chamber.

An irate Lindiwe Zulu, minister of small business development, was physically restrained after an altercation in the hallways outside the chamber.

Tensions rose when Zulu and Economic Freedom Fighters MP Godrich Gardee started sparring verbally off microphone inside the Chamber.

Zulu signalled to Gardee that they take the matter outside the Chamber.

Zulu stormed into the hallway and headed to the doors leading to the side of the House where opposition party members are seated.

She was followed by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Gardee did not emerge from the Chamber, but police officers and members of Parliament’s protection services stood alert.

African National Congress MPs held Zulu back as she shouted: “Where is he?” in her mother tongue.

She was eventually escorted away, and police officers warned those in the hallway to remain calm.

Later, Zulu returned to the chamber, only to be confronted by a motion by Democratic Alliance MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, who asked that she be removed because she “brought shame to the House”.

Zulu was seen shouting the word “liar”, prompting DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard to jump up.

“The honourable minister Zulu has been seen referring to honourable Hill-Lewis as a liar. The evidence is all over YouTube,” said Kohler Barnard, referring to a clip of the hallway incident that was uploaded to the social media website.

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ordered that Zulu withdraw her remark, but added: “We do not use YouTube as a basis for making rulings in the House.”

Zulu eventually withdrew her remark unconditionally.

The hallway scuffle happened during a chaotic sitting of the National Assembly.

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