FIGHT CLUB Part 3: Parliament chaos: Parties blame each other

BY CHARL BOSCH - NOVEMBER 14, 2014

The African National Congress (ANC) has described yesterday’s shenanigans in Parliament as “extremely worrying” and that it could have “serious long term implications of our Parliament losing its integrity and respect”.

Parliament’s sitting of the final report into the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence, turned into mass chaos which resulted in the riot police being called during the early hours of Friday morning.

“Yesterday the nation watched with shock and horror as the National Assembly degenerated into a chaotic circus due to unruly conduct of Members,” the ANC’s Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“The dangerous alliance of a racist DA [Democratic Alliance] and a fascist EFF [Economic Freedom Fighter] driven by a common disdain for ANC has displayed its contempt for our institutions (sic)”.

In a statement on the party’s website, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, blamed the chaos on the ruling party, saying that the “corrupt African National Congress, which is led by a corrupt leader is the main cause of disruptions of Parliament.”

“They use Parliament to obstruct accountability of a member of the executive, particularly President Zuma who is constitutionally bound to account to Parliament on a regular basis,” Ndlozi said.

“What Parliament did is in violation of the Constitution. The presence of riot police in the National Assembly chambers violates this sacrosanct principle and value of the Constitution. If the ANC chooses to use the police inside the National Assembly, we will be left with no option, but to develop mechanisms to defend ourselves even in the National Assembly.”

Ndlozi also criticised Parliament’s presiding officers, stating that they “made lots of questionable decisions concerning the rule of Parliament against members of the opposition.”

Similarly, the DA blamed National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete for the chaos, adding that they “will cease to recognise her authority as Speaker”.

“Every time she presides over the House, the DA will only send its chief whip, deputy chief whip and those members participating in debates,” DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane wrote on the party’s website.

“She has consistently favoured the ANC over opposition MPs and is clearly executing Luthuli House’s agenda. President Zuma and Baleka Mbete have taken us to the verge of a Constitutional crisis. They have consistently manipulated and undermined the rules of the House to protect President Zuma from his Constitutional obligation to account to the people of South Africa”.

Maimane also accused Mebte for “abusing her power chair” and for “sanctioning riot police to assault opposition MP’s”.

“It must be remembered that the SAPS are a branch of State. Their presence in Parliament is therefore a breach of the separation of powers and the sanctity of the National Assembly,” he said, adding that he had written to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with the hope of restoring order.

 

CAPTION: Screen grab showing DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane (crossed arms) and party MP John Steenhuisen (finger raised) reacting to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete's threats of ejecting fellow party MP, Mike Waters, (standing left behind Maimane) from yesterday's chaotic sitting of Parliament, which the party has blamed on her. IMAGE sourced from eNCA

 

Read more on this story here:

Fight Club Part 1: Parliament Descents into Chaos

Fight Club Part 2: Punches Thrown In Chaotic Parliament Session