Lynsey Chutel | After all that drama, the Pan-African Parliament will have tough time proving its worth

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Pan African Parliament members gather in groups inside the house following its postponement in Midrand, Johannesburg on 1 June 2021.
Pan African Parliament members gather in groups inside the house following its postponement in Midrand, Johannesburg on 1 June 2021.
PHOTO: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Like everyone else, News24 Africa Desk journalist Lynsey Chutel watched the drama unfold in the Pan-African Parliament with shock, and wondered what exactly was the point of it all?

It was the parliamentarian’s version of taking your earrings off before a fight: Senegalese politician Djibril War took off his jacket and launched himself at his fellow members of the Pan-African Parliament. In the chaos of flying limbs and profanities flying, Djibril kicked ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina. It was the low point in a session that also saw chaos, division, and yes, a threat from our parliamentary rabble-rouser, Julius Malema. 

The PAP is the legislative body of the African Union and, if it works properly, is meant to make the AU's visions tangible to ordinary people through their political representatives. The idea came about with the Abuja Treaty of 1991 and was formally established at a meeting in Sirte, Libya, 10 years later. South Africa would have the honour of hosting the twice-yearly sessions, and the first session was held in 2005 to much fanfare and hope. 

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