Emotions run high over boozy MPs, parly pub

2015-06-11 12:17
EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu. (PowerFM, Twitter)

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu. (PowerFM, Twitter)

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Emotions ran high last night in the National Assembly as allegations flew to and fro that members of Parliament were drunk.

After Cope’s Willie Madisha let loose with animal sounds and a mockery of a minister’s accent, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula suggested that the parliamentary bar close at 6pm on days when there was a late session.

She said the bar influenced people’s behaviour in the house.

Floyd Shivambu from the Economic Freedom Fighters said Mapisa-Nqakula couldn’t make such allegations, and should apologise for alleging that MPs were drunk.

But he then added: “If you were to bring a breathalyser, the majority of ANC MPs won’t pass the test.”

Madisha was initially reprimanded over his reference to reports that Baleka Mbete, speaker of the assembly, was given shares of R25 million in the gold mining company Gold Fields in an allegedly corrupt transaction.

National Assembly chairperson Thoko Didiza instructed him to withdraw his comment.

He refused, then mocked Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor’s accent and finally said he would withdraw “the truth”.

After much quibbling, during which Madisha insisted he didn’t even drink, he also withdrew the animal sounds.

Earlier, a heated debate ensued over who in the house was African and who was not.

ANC MP Bhekizizwe Hadebe objected because some MPs were reading newspapers.

“Honourable chair [Mmatlala Boroto] are we allowed to read newspapers in the house, especially when Africans speak?”

The Freedom Front Plus’ Dr Corné Mulder reacted fiercely.

“Honourable chairperson, I ask you to tell the honourable member to look around him and to see that in this house we are all African,” he said.

“I’m sick and tired of people referring to some people as African and not to others. We are all African.”

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen pointed out to Boroto that it had been decided that racial stereotyping was not allowed in the National Assembly.

He asked her to discipline Radebe.

Boroto said that members of Parliament could read newspapers, but should do it discreetly.

“Second, all members in this house are African. We all agree that we are all African, Honourable Mulder. Everyone in this house is African. I see no difference. We are all African.”

When Boroto asked Hadebe to explain what he meant, he backtracked, and said: “All the people who came here today are African.”

Read more on:    corne mulder  |  floyd ­shivambu  |  parliament

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