Tolerance, respect waning in Parliament – chief whip

2012-11-01 14:32

The culture of tolerance, respect and decency was waning in Parliament, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga has said.

“We have noted with great concern the decline in the culture of tolerance and mutual respect that resulted in a chaotic sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday,” Motshekga said today in a statement.

Deputy speaker Momaindia Mfeketo ordered Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota to leave the National Assembly on Tuesday after he refused to withdraw statements about President Jacob Zuma.

This related to a statement he made a week ago in the House, calling for Zuma to be “impeached”.

Some members of the opposition parties banged tables, opposing Mfeketo.

The conduct by members of Parliament was “embarrassing”.

“This shameful conduct by those who ought to carry themselves in a manner befitting of their ‘honourable’ titles makes a mockery of Parliament,” said Motshekga.

“There is no justification for this abhorrent behaviour, regardless of how aggrieved some MPs were with the decision of the presiding officer (Mfeketo).”

Motshekga rejected assertions that the ANC was stifling freedom of expression in Parliament, saying: “The accusation is unfounded and baseless.”

The Multiparty Chief Whips’ Forum, a forum of chief whips of political parties in Parliament, met yesterday to discuss Tuesday’s events.

“All parties agreed to work to maintain order and respect for proceedings, and defend the integrity of Parliament,” Motshekga said.

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