To say MPs behave like children is an insult to children - Didiza

2016-05-04 12:30
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Cape Town – Fed-up house chairperson Thoko Didiza was on Wednesday forced to rap MPs over the knuckles for "unbecoming behavior".

This after the social development budget vote in Parliament descended into chaos, with MPs shouting, and hurling "childish" noises across the floor at each other.

"Can you please stop it? This is a policy debate and you need to be respectful. You cannot behave in this manner as though you are children. Actually it’s an insult to say children behave in this way," said Didiza.

The house became chaotic after EFF MP Primrose Sonti accused Minister Bathabile Dlamini of using her department’s money to campaign for the ANC.

During her speech in the House, Sonti said Dlamini had brought shame to the department when she was brought to tears in Port Elizabeth last month.

"Ebezintyintyile ngamanzi ka Victoria [meaning she had been filled to the brim with alcohol.]"

'I will always cry if I’m hurt'

Earlier, Bathabile Dlamini told MPs that she didn't know alcohol and always cried if she was hurt.

The minister was responding while presenting her budget vote in Parliament, when she was continuously heckled by opposition parties over a recent incident where she was reduced to tears.

Dlamini, who is also the president of the ANC Women's League, was left emotional and in tears after people hurled insults at her during the opening of a drug-centre in Port Elizabeth in April.

The residents refused to listen to her, accusing her of being "drunk from expensive whisky".

Dlamini told opposition MPs that she was not a coward.

"I will always cry if I’m hurt. If I see our people living in poverty, I’m not going to behave strong just to please you," she said.

MPs then started hurling accusations of drinking on the job at her.

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula accused Sonti of getting personal.

The party also accused the minister of using money from her department during the ANC’s campaign.

Sonti said the minister was not fit to lead her office.

Making faces, rude gestures

She was told to bring the accusation in a substantive motion, instead of casting aspersions, but Sonti carried on, accusing the minister of not being able to separate her state and party duties.

While she withdrew the comments, Sonti then continued to accuse the minister of stealing from her department. MPs started shouting and calling for withdrawal of the comments, with EFF MPs on the other hand claiming they were true.

Before Didiza could rule on points of orders raised, the MPs started making faces, funny noises [Nywee, nywee, nywee] and pointing and making rude gestures.

Didiza pleaded with the MPs to respect who they were.

"Do you want this debate to go on? Can you please be in order?" she pleaded, by this time on her feet.

She called on them to at least respect the voters who had put them in Parliament.

MPs were more subdued after that during the rest of the debate.

Read more on:    bathabile dlamini  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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