South African Parliament is more of a fight club than a political institution these days.
It always starts the same way – someone says something mildly snarky to someone else. The quip is usually quite base, but effective. Next thing you know, white shirts are pulling politicians off of each other as they attempt to beat one another into submission.
And it’s not just Parliament – lesser political meetings have the same problem.
Fortunately, the first rule of Parliament fight club is not that you can’t talk about parliament fight club, so here’s TimesLIVE with the details of the latest brawl.
A scuffle broke out in parliament on Tuesday between members of the EFF and members of the DA.
The fracas, during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s question and answer session, started when DA chief whip John Steenhuisen criticised the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi for stating “some rule” as his point of order.
Steenhuisen has a habit of pushing buttons in Parliament, to the point where even Ramaphosa lost patience with him.
When EFF leader Julius Malema tried to intervene, Steenhuisen referred to the red berets as “VBS looters”.
“You are not going to call me a VBS looter, you racist young white man,” Malema responded. He even claimed Steenhuisen had been accused of rape.
As you can see, things quickly unravelled:
Real classy across the board, people.
The drama wasn’t done there, either:
Matters took a violent turn in the National Assembly after Agang MP Andries Tlouamma and the EFF’s Nazier Paulsen threw punches at each other.
Tlouamma was aggravated after Paulsen pointed fingers at him when he was raising a point of order.
He then asked the red beret MP to stop. Paulsen seems to have not stopped, as a consequence Tlouamma told Paulsen to F*** Off, which saw Paulsen bolt across parliament to fight the Agang MP.
I guess the EFF must be happy to have their “pay back the money” chant back, after it was used against them in that parliamentary debate on the Competition Amendment Bill.
The ordeal ended with Malema telling Parliament that they’re “not going to be intimidated by whites here”.
You’ve got to wonder how anything gets done…
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