The house that fell apart

2014-11-23 15:00

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The recent behaviour displayed by our parliamentarians is disturbing, with the name-calling, shouting and refusal to obey the rules of the House.

Also, the disregard for the rules by the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, is shocking.

These parliamentarians need to be reminded that they are servants of the people of this country. They are not in Parliament of their own volition but by the will of the citizens of this country.

None of the political parties that took part in this year’s general elections were voted into Parliament to disrupt the proceedings there.

All political parties in Parliament know their mandate from their constituencies and it is high time they stuck to this mandate.

Robust debate in Parliament is welcomed as long as its rules are observed by all. No one should try to exercise dictatorship.

This kind of behaviour makes one wonder if these politicians think about the kind of message they are sending out to the public.

I find it strange that some people in our society find this kind of behaviour entertaining.

The people who find this entertaining should also find the collapse of the SA Post Office, the shenanigans at SAA and the SABC, and many service-delivery protests entertaining.

All these problems are as a result of politicians failing in their duty to make this country work.

Our parliamentarians are too preoccupied with Nkandla.

You can see it from the governing party to the benches of the opposition – everything is about Nkandla.

This country is being sacrificed at the altar of Nkandla.

The legacy our two democratically elected former presidents left behind is well known.

One wonders what the legacy of the current president will be when his term of office expires.

Mangaliso Ngcobo

Parklands, Cape Town


The recent scenes in Parliament have left most patriotic South Africans extremely worried. While our Parliament has always been robust, never before has the decorum in the House been discarded to such an extent.

The Speaker, Baleka Mbete, and the ANC have been on the receiving end of criticism by the media and some political analysts. The two are being held responsible for the behaviour of opposition parties.

What has been missing has been a sober and objective critique of the modus operandi that has been adopted by opposition parties since the beginning of our fifth democratic Parliament.

While such kind of behaviour was to be expected of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), most of us have been taken aback by the DA’s quick adoption of its unparliamentary tactics. Any opposition party worth its salt would have aspirations of taking over as the governing party one day.

If the DA does entertain such aspirations, it must be careful about the kind of precedent it sets in terms of how it behaves as the official opposition.

What the DA and the EFF are doing in our Parliament can be compared to someone who burns his house because he suspects there is a snake inside.

As for Mmusi Maimane, I suspect history will judge him as the weakest DA parliamentary leader it has ever had, his oratory abilities notwithstanding.

It seems to me Julius Malema has become the de facto leader of the opposition while Maimane has become his spokesperson.

Sabelo Ngcobo

Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal


Describing the conduct of Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who had to be physically restrained after an altercation with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Godrich Gardee, Julius Malema had this to say: “Those are the things you get in squatter camps and townships and villages where women go to the streets.

“Then they start folding their dresses saying: ‘Come! Come! I’m waiting for you.’ People won’t look at the chaos created by the EFF, they will talk about the ANC’s response to it.”

We really don’t need this kind of behaviour from a minister.

Maybe what we have is a crisis of leadership in this country.

Can you imagine a minister being beaten up in Parliament by a member of the opposition?

Minister Zulu, please, small business needs you now more than ever.

What is happening in our Parliament is not a surprise, but a true reflection of public discontent. Remember that these MPs represent different communities.

We are a time bomb waiting to explode. May God bless South Africa, we don’t wish to be another failed African state.

We really need a strong opposition to ensure that we succeed. It looks like there will be more fights in Parliament because we saw some members being taken to hospital.

It is very sad when members of our police service are used for political gain whenever there are disagreements in Parliament or during service-delivery protests.

We need leaders like Tata Mandela when our current crop of leaders fails to show qualities of leadership.

Our current leaders are greedy and selfish, and cannot take us forward as a country.

Sidwell Tshingilane


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