EFF MP reportedly restrained by colleagues after insults thrown in Parliament

EFF MP Makoti Sibongile Khawula (Jenni Evans, News24)
EFF MP Makoti Sibongile Khawula (Jenni Evans, News24)

Parliament was once again the site of an almost-physical skirmish as EFF MP Makoti Khawula and ANC MP Khaya Magaxa exchanged insults during a correctional services budget vote debate.

TimesLive reported that while Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola was in the process of delivering his address, Khawula complained that the parliamentary translation service from English to isiZulu had not been made available.

In response, Magaxa allegedly accused Khawula of being "dumb".

Khawula, taking umbrage at the provocation, launched into a retaliatory verbal assault and said: "You are calling me dumb…uyimbongolo wena (You are just a donkey)," before adding in Zulu: "I can show you now who is the dumb one". She got up and "charged" towards Magaxa.

Members of her own party stopped her.

As seen in Parliament's live stream of the debate, House chairperson Madala Ntombela then said: "Honorable Ma' Khawula you have used very obscene language in the House, which is totally unacceptable.

"What has happened now and the words that have been used in this House, it's beyond me, what to say.

"I would not like to see chaos and commotion in the House but what has just happened now, it's unprecedented."

"Honorable Ma' Khawula, members of the ANC, some of them, Honorable Magaxa, I'm aware that she has been talking to you directly, that is totally unacceptable Honorable Magaxa. Because you were not supposed to have said anything Honourable Magaxa. Could you please apologise for your behaviour?" said Ntombela. 

Magaxa then apologised before the chairperson returned his attention to Khawula.  

"Ma' Khawula, you have used seriously insulting words. Could you please withdraw what you said and apologise… even though you were offended," the chairperson requested - a request to which Khawula duly acquiesced, but not without making a point that Magaxa not be allowed to threaten Khawula again.

Magaxa was then seen laughing after Khawula spoke into the microphone in isiZulu.

News24 previously reported that an induction session at the Old Assembly in Parliament last month was marred by a confrontation between ANC and EFF MPs and had to be defused by an angry Speaker, Thandi Modise.

More recently, members of the EFF were physically removed from chambers where Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was delivering his budget vote address after they stormed the floor to prevent Gordhan from speaking in what Modise called ''unacceptable conduct" towards the public enterprises minister "in clear contravention of the rules of the House".

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