Clowns, cowards and issues of integrity – Parliament descends into chaos

2015-06-10 12:52
ANC chief whip Stone Sizani

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani (Denvor de Wee)

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“Employ the white shirts!” This was the advice of ANC chief whip Stone Sizani to speaker Baleka Mbete during last night’s budget debate that couldn’t move past the many questions over President Jacob Zuma’s integrity.

There were repeated references to Nkandla, the president’s salary increase and the “golden handshakes” to be distributed to key positions in the criminal justice system.

“You’re asking us to promote stealing, because the presidency is a [department of thieves],” said EFF member of Parliament Hlengiwe Maxon.

She said the president’s salary increase was based on greed.

“The president built a chicken run for R2 million! The president must take us seriously!” she said.

“The state under Jacob Zuma is lacking integrity; integrity starts with the president,” said Cope MP Willie Madisha.

ANC MPs kept referring to the 60-year-old Freedom Charter.

Celiwe Madlopha, ANC MP, lashed out strongly against corruption.

“We need to decisively deal with corruption without fear or favour. Corruption is a demon.”

“Start with your leader!” shouted someone in the Democratic Alliance benches.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “You came here to suppress the Nkandla report. How are you dealing with corruption?”

Madlopha said the EFF were “joke makers”.

Ndlozi wanted to know from presiding officer Grace Boroto whether it was parliamentary “for a clown to call the EFF clowns”.

Doris Dlakude, deputy chief whip of the ANC, said that the opposition walked away from the previous ad hoc committee on Nkandla because they could not find anything against Zuma.

When Mbete’s budget was discussed, many opposition MPs referred to the episode when the riot police – the so-called white shirts – removed EFF parliamentarians from this year’s state of the nation address at the National Assembly.

In reply, Sizani said Mbete should appoint the white shirts, not only invite them in, then people could not complain about the separation of powers.

Nazier Paulsen, EFF MP, jumped up in protest, and asked if it was parliamentary to say that members should be removed by force.

“Is he scared to do it himself? Is he a coward?” shouted Paulsen, while Sizani raised his right fist above his head.

“I’m not a coward! I’m an African!” retorted Sizani.

In between the attacks on the ruling party and its president, the opposition parties also expressed concern about South Africa’s growing budget deficit. The objection was that the government spent more than it collected.

DA MP Alan McLoughlin quoted philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “Whoever fights monsters should be careful not to become monsters themselves. The ANC became a monster that feeds off the budget. We can no longer afford to feed this monster.” 

Read more on:    stone sizani  |  baleka mbete  |  nkandla  |  anc

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