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Some Animals Are More Equal

20 February 2014, 21:15
One wise man once wrote: "The day the power of love overtakes the love of power, the world will know peace." I was very disappointed with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu when he disrupted Bantu Holomisa and ordered him to withdraw his statements about Blade Nzimande's alleged alcoholism. 

Holomisa was quoted as having said: "Thank you Mr President for sending Minister Collins Chabane to help the Walter Sisulu University’s Mthatha campus while that confused communist (Blame Nzimande) was busy at a certain rehabilitation centre, being helped to deal with his addiction to one of the whisky products.” 

Don't get me wrong here, I am not condoning bad language usage and insults in Parliament, I am just advocating for equal treatment for all members of Parliament. Speaker Sisulu is an ANC member but that should not make him bias when handling altercations in Parliament. We have seen, in more occasions than one, ANC members ridiculing  members of opposition parties and they gladly ululated with joy because they were not in the receiving end. 

Buti Manamela, an ANC MP, recently made a derogatory joke about Lindiwe Mazibuko's dress code, saying the should call fashion police to arrest her. No one had problems with that and fellow ANC member laughed hysterically. Trevor Manuel once referred to Patricia De Lille as a "useful idiot" in the hands of people who lost out on arms deal contracts, and again, there was deafening silence. 

Back in 2011, Nzimande himself said something about “a government of darkies” and Mazibuko stood up and asked if the word 'darkie' was acceptable in the House. Nzimande saw an opportunity and started muttering in isiZulu about Mazibuko being a ‘coconut’, ridiculing her Model-C schooling.

Mazibuko’s complaint was eventually dismissed because she could not produce a rule in the parliamentary rulebook to explain why “darkies” is outlawed in Parliament. 

All that was a tactic used to protect ANC MPs and all the way Nzimande kept on muttering in isiZulu, to the great pleasure of the ANC MPs who, for once, did not seem to mind a derogatory term for black people. It is so unfair when action is taken only when the ANC MPs are the victims. The speaker of Parliament must show fairness and stop taking sides.

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