Parliament could lose its integrity - ANC

2014-11-14 10:42


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Chaos in Parliament dominates newspaper front pages

2014-11-14 09:39

The ANC ratified its report absolving President Jacob Zuma from responsibility for the abuse of funds on his Nkandla in the National Assembly, after an opposition filibuster that brought pandemonium to Parliament over the security upgrade scandal. Today's newspaper front pages focused on the pandemonium in Parliament. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - Recent disruptions by opposition parties in Parliament could lead to the institution losing its integrity, the ANC said on Friday.

"Yesterday [Thursday]... the nation watched with shock and horror as the National Assembly degenerated into a chaotic circus due to the unruly conduct of members," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

"Despite whatever short-term gains some parties may seem to think they are reaping now, the African National Congress is extremely worried about the more serious long-term implications of our Parliament losing its integrity and respect currently afforded to it by society.

'Racist DA, fascist EFF'

"The dangerous alliance of a racist DA and a fascist EFF driven by a common hatred and disdain for the ANC has once again displayed its contempt for our democratic institutions..."

On Thursday, opposition parties shouted down National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete when she tried to prevent them bringing dozens of motions.

Most of these were related to spending on so-called security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, which Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma to have unduly benefited from.

Tempers flared over the hours as African National Congress MPs retaliated by objecting to motions the opposition attempted to bring to delay tabling a report on the upgrades.

Veteran ANC MP Mathole Motshekga, who was pivotal in the ad hoc committee that drafted the report absolving Zuma from responsibility for the alleged abuse of funds at Nkandla, said the opposition was exaggerating Madonsela's findings.


Members of the police public order policing unit also entered the National Assembly chamber on Thursday night causing a scuffle.

The drama unfolded after Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela refused to leave the podium when she was ordered to do so by house chairperson Cedric Frolick.

Mashabela called Zuma a "thief" during a debate on the Grand Inga Hydro Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and refused to withdraw her remarks.

Mashabela would not be moved when sergeant-at-arms Regina Mohlomi tried to escort her from the podium.

Police arrived minutes later tugging at Mashabela - who could be heard shouting "I don't want to be touched".

MPs from opposition benches, expressed outrage, and jumped to Mashabela's defence.


Meanwhile, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu was physically restrained after an altercation in the hallways outside the chamber.

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

Kodwa on Friday commended the "hard work" of the Nkandla ad hoc committee.

"It has been regrettable that opposition parties chose to walk out of the ad hoc committee for purposes of political expediency and point scoring," he said.

"By so doing, they lost an important opportunity to add their voices to solving the problems concerning all of us and to play their role in guarding against the misuse of public funds."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

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