News24

Dianne 'circus' comes to an end

2010-03-03 08:02

Cape Town - It took a total of 13 seconds for all to be forgiven and forgotten.

Feisty DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard, who was suspended from Parliament for five days last month for swearing, has apologised unconditionally for her behaviour in the National Assembly.

On Tuesday afternoon, shortly before the house's sitting, Kohler Barnard didn't seem the slightest bit nervous. When it was her turn to speak, she simply stood up, positioned herself behind the microphone and read her apology - three typed lines - which took all of 13 seconds.

"I hereby apologise unconditionally for the completely unacceptable language I used on February 16 in the National Assembly. I retract the word I said unconditionally."

Then Kohler Barnard sat down again, as if nothing had happened.

MPs from opposition parties applauded politely, and even a few ANC MPs did the same. No-one dared make a snide comment.

Speaker of Parliament, Max Sisulu, warmly thanked Kohler Barnard, and with that, the "circus" - as Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, minister of correctional services, referred to the day of the incident - was concluded in a civilised manner.

Die Burger