ANC minister physically restrained in Parly

2014-11-13 17:07
Minister Lindiwe Zulu (File: GCIS)

Minister Lindiwe Zulu (File: GCIS)

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Cape Town - ANC MPs physically restrained an irate Lindiwe Zulu, minister of small business development, after a verbal altercation with an EFF MP outside the National Assembly Chamber on Thursday.

Tensions rose when Zulu and EFF MP Godrich Gardee started sparring verbally off microphone inside the Chamber.

Zulu signalled to Gardee that they take the matter outside the Chamber.

Zulu stormed into the hallway and headed to the doors leading to the side of the House where opposition party members are seated.

Gardee did not emerge from the Chamber, but police officers and members of Parliament's protection services stood alert.

ANC MPs held Zulu back as she shouted: "Where is he?" in her mother tongue.

She was eventually escorted away, and police officers warned those in the hallway to remain calm.

The incident happened during a chaotic sitting of the National Assembly.

Loud howling and chanting reverberated throughout the parliamentary precinct when DA and EFF MPs objected to a ruling by Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Opposition MPs continuously defied Mbete after she ruled that motions be cut short as the programme of Thursday's sitting was so long it could have resulted in MPs debating well into the night.

The DA and EFF objected, saying Mbete's ruling was not the agreement reached during a meeting of the programme committee earlier in the day.

Mbete refused to recognise members of the opposition who tried to address her on the matter.

This prompted the MPs to shout into their microphones, demanding to be heard.

Mbete ordered MPs to sit down.

Deputy DA Chief Whip Mike Waters refused, and was told to leave the Chamber. He emphatically stated: "I will not".

Several DA MPs jumped to Waters' defence, and chanted: "She must go," pointing at Mbete.

Several other MPs then suggested Mbete suspend proceedings.

She refused.

Even a call from Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, would not move Mbete.

"We are embarrassed ourselves. We cannot carry on this way," Meshoe said of the chaotic situation in the Chamber.

He said Mbete's ruling was responsible for the disorder.

Mbete replied: "I regret I will not agree to what you are saying."

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

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