Steenhuisen apologises for 'rubbish' comment

2016-02-17 18:53
Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Faction comment stirs SONA debate

2016-02-17 18:07

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen was asked to leave Parliament during the second day of the 2016 SONA debate. Chair Raseriti Tau asked Steenhuisen to leave after the opposition MP told Tau he was "talking rubbish" in Parliament. Watch the News24 Live video for more context.WATCH

Cape Town - DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen apologised to the chairperson and Speaker of Parliament for remarks he made during a heated exchange in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said that during the comfort break, they had received a letter, in terms of rules that provide for a member to tender a written expression of regret.

Parliament descended into chaos when deputy chairperson Raseriti Tau ordered Steenhuisen to leave after he called one of Tau's rulings "rubbish".

This was during Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota's reply to President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address.

The fiery Lekota had started talking about factions in the ANC when there was an objection to the word "faction".

Steenhuisen called Tau's ruling against the use of the word "rubbish".

Tau ordered him to withdraw the word, saying he was offended.

Steenhuisen would not back down, "because you are talking rubbish".

A shouting match started in the already boisterous House, and Steenhuisen was ordered to leave. He said he would gladly do so, so he would not have to listen to more of Tau’s "rubbish".

There was more shouting, with Tau fielding one point of order after the other.

After the short break, Tsenoli said Steenhuisen's written expression of remorse had been accepted and he could continue taking part in proceedings.

The DA gave Steenhuisen a standing ovation and proceedings continued.

Read more on:    da  |  john steenhuisen  |  cape town  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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