FIGHT CLUB Part 1: Parliament descents into chaos


Parliament’s final report into the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence, descended into chaos on Thursday afternoon as opposition MPs called for National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, to step down after she had tried to limit the time spend on motions to 45 minutes.

The ruling was met with widespread jeering from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with DA Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, calling on Mbete to continue with the “debate as per schedule” which she refused.

“You have lost control of the house for the second time madam speaker. You are pushing us to a constitutional crisis and would ask that in the interests of this institution, you step down from the chair so we can proceed with the business interests of the day,” the DA’s John Steenhuisen said to applause from rivals MP’s, who had begun chanting “go go go”.

Steenhuisen followed this up by saying, “You are abusing your powers. I only hope that you are doing this because [ANC secretary general] Gwede [Mantashe] told you to.”

Ignoring Mbete’s calls to sit down, the EFF’s Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala tried to intervene, but was ignored.

Similarly, African Christian Democratic Party leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, said that, “The public watching what's happening must be embarrassed, we are embarrassed ourselves,” before calling on Mbete to stick to the agenda, to which she replied, “No I won’t”.

Chaos eventually subsided with Mbete vacating her position and handing proceedings over to deputy speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli. The matter continues.


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