DA chief whip John Steenhuisen says he will not apologise for calling EFF MPs VBS bank looters in the National Assembly on Tuesday. On Wednesday, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said the party will also not apologise for calling Steenhuisen a racist who had been accused of rape. This led to a physical fight between EFF Memberof Parliament Nazeer Paulsen and Agang MP Andries Tlouamma.
Steenhuisen says there is freedom of speech in Parliament. “I stated it as a political comment in the House and it’s a completely fair comment. There has been a court ruling in the EFF vs Speaker where the EFF referred to the ANC’s Cyril Ramaphosa as having murdered people at Marikana. The court upheld that even if Malema was referring to individual members it fell within the bounds of political comment. Parliament is a robust environment, not an environment for sissies.”
Meanwhile, House Chairperson Thoko Didiza has ruled that the comments and conduct of both Steenhuisen and Malema were unParliamentary. Both refused to withdraw their comments opting to rather leave the House. Didiza says Paulsen and Tlouamma will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
“I believe referral to the DC of this incident specific Tlouamma, Paulsen as well as other members that can be identified in video footage as being part of scuffle, will best serve in addressing conduct that erupted.”
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