Horseplay in parliament over love for meat

2013-04-23 17:52
Mosiuoa Lekota (Picture: Die Burger)

Mosiuoa Lekota (Picture: Die Burger)

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Cape Town - Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota's liking for horse meat, and his defence of those who enjoy eating it, drew comments from three Cabinet ministers in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Rising on a point of order, Lekota jokingly asked Speaker Max Sisulu whether it was parliamentary for members to "disparage the delicacies of some of the communities in this House".

He was reacting to an earlier statement on "contaminated" meat, and the recent outcry over the incorrect labelling of meat products in several retail outlets.

"Honourable Member, it's about labelling, not eating or not eating," Sisulu told him.

Provoking laughter across the House, Lekota responded: "But the suggestions about horse meat... [are] really offensive to some of us!"

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor suggested the Congress of the People leader, who was born in the Free State, should have just confessed to liking horse meat.

"The Honourable Lekota should have just honestly said, 'I like wearing blankets and I enjoy eating horse meat!'," she said, chuckling.

The theme was picked up by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

"At the risk of offending the Honourable Lekota, let me come in on the meat labelling issue.

"As you yourself said... consumers have the right to know what it is they are eating.

"And that includes that if they want to eat horse meat, then they must be told they've got horse meat, and they can be happy to eat horse meat."

Davies said the National Consumer Commission was investigating the mislabelling of meat products.

Sisulu suggested Lekota should stick to riding horses rather than eating them.

"Of course, that does not take away your constitutional right, Honourable Lekota. But of course, according to Basutos, horse is transport, and they don't eat transport, according to them," he said.

The last word on the matter came from Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

"Honourable Lekota also forgot to mention that some of these blanket-wearing... some of them eat cats also, as part of that delicacy."

Lekota, who appeared to be finding her remark in bad taste, was left frowning in his bench.

It is the second time this year Lekota has risen in the House to defend horse meat.

Read more on:    cope  |  rob davies  |  angie motshekga  |  naledi pandor  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  parliament 2013  |  politics

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