Mbete slams disruption of parliamentary committee

2017-05-04 11:20
Black First Land First (BFLF) head Andile Mngxitama (right) in Parliament. (Photo: David Maynier, Twitter)

Black First Land First (BFLF) head Andile Mngxitama (right) in Parliament. (Photo: David Maynier, Twitter)

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'We were chased out to satisfy the Committee's white masters' - Mngxitama

2017-05-03 14:17

Black First Land First's Andile Mngxitama was thrown out of Parliament on Wednesday after calling the chairperson of the Trade and Industry Committee a 'fascist', during BLF's presentation to the Finance and Trade and Industry committees. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete on Thursday called disruptions during a joint meeting of the portfolio committees on finance and trade and industry "unacceptable".

The joint meeting descended into chaos on Wednesday during the Black First Land First's (BLF) presentation on economic transformation, after guest speaker and BLF leader Andile Mngxitama was kicked out for calling veteran African National Congress MP Joanmariae Fubbs a fascist.

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen on Thursday asked Mbete to apply her mind to the situation.

"Obviously it's a tight balance. This is a people's Parliament and we want people to participate. But we can't have our public hearings descending into the scenes we saw yesterday," Steenhuisen said during Parliament's programming committee.

He wanted invited guests to committee meetings to be made aware of the rules upon their arrival in the National Assembly.

Mbete agreed. "It's a valid matter of great concern. From what I saw yesterday, it is completely unacceptable, and cannot be associated with Parliament and its culture," she said.

Confrontation

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said he fully agreed with Mbete and Steenhuisen.

He said the BLF had acted in a manner that was terrible, and that Parliament should take action.

"Within our laws, let's find a way of sending a very clear signal that this Parliament is not a playground for thugs and criminals," Mthembu said.

"We can't have people come here and call our members of Parliament names, or being racist against our members. It's unacceptable."

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ntombovuyo Mente said they should caution against being too restrictive of the public, but agreed the matter should be investigated.

Mbete told reporters afterward that finance committee chair Yunus Carrim should also not have got up to engage with Mngxitama.

Carrim took exception to Mngxitama's remarks about Fubbs and insisted that the BLF leaves. A confrontation then ensued.

Outside the committee room, after Mngxitama had been kicked out, he called Carrim a stooge for "white monopoly capital" and said they had been kicked out because Carrim was doing his "white master's bidding".

Mthembu on Wednesday said he would ask Mbete to institute an urgent investigation into the matter and to ensure that the responsible individuals were banned from Parliament in future.

The ANC would ask Parliament to look at the possibility of laying criminal charges.

WATCH:

Read more on:    da  |  blf  |  anc  |  parliament  |  eff  |  yunus carrim  |  baleka mbete  |  andile mngxitama  |  jackson mthembu  |  john steenhuisen  |  parliament 2017  |  politics

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