SONA debate - Removals, juvenile delinquents and madams

2016-02-17 21:15
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Cape Town - Even with the EFF absent from Wednesday's State of the Nation address debate, Parliament descended into chaos and MPs were asked to leave.

This time DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen offended National Council of Provinces deputy chair Raseriti Tau, who was presiding, when he told him he was "talking rubbish".

The heated exchange came after Tau chastised Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota for talking about factions in Parliament. 

Tau lost control of the House as opposition MPs shouted and chanted for Tau to go. They accused him of being inconsistent in his rulings, allowing ANC MPs to say what they pleased, while reigning in others.

The UDM and IFP questioned the validity of his ruling.

Steenhuisen walked out of the House after being asked to leave, when he refused to withdraw his "rubbish" remark.

Tau asked the entire DA caucus to leave, but did not enforce his ruling, leaving the official opposition in their seats.

After a short break, the House was informed that Steenhuisen had sent a letter to the Speaker apologising for his behaviour. He was allowed to continue participating in the debate.

Juvenile delinquents

The second day of the debate was filled with tales of juvenile delinquents, madams, drunk uncles, political dwarfs, and trips to the mountain.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor criticised DA leader Mmusi Maimane for his remark, during his speech on Tuesday, that President Jacob Zuma lived on "Planet Zuma".

"They live on a planet of their own making where their leader composes fairy tales full of monsters that are a figment of his imagination," Pandor said, referring to the DA and Maimane.

Pandor said as much as Maimane and his party tried, they would not defeat the ANC.

"He has huffed, he has puffed and he has blown nothing down. The ANC will not be blown down, it is made of sterner stuff," she said.

Deputy Minister in the Presidency Bhuti Manamela accused opposition parties of sounding like "stuck records" because of their fixation with President Jacob Zuma, Nkandla, and the politically connected Gupta family.

Manamela accused EFF leader Julius Malema of gossiping, after he revealed details of conversations relating to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula's visit to a mountain for the Xhosa circumcision ritual.

He disputed EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's description of Malema as a brave man, in a News24 report.

He said when he and Malema visited Mbalula at the mountain, the EFF leader did not want to go in “because he was not prepared to compromise his boyhood”.

The EFF did not attend Wednesday's sitting. On Tuesday, Malema delivered scathing address, often hitting below the belt by referring to Zuma’s messy personal life. He told the House he would not debate a State of the Nation delivered by an "illegitimate" president and walked out with his MPs.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson referred to Malema as a "juvenile delinquent", which she said was what a six-year-old schoolboy had called the outspoken leader.

ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani referred to Cope MP Deidre Carter as madam. She took offence, saying that a madam worked in a brothel. National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete appeared perplexed, saying she thought madam was an honourable word.

Zuma would respond to the debate on Thursday.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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