A physical confrontation has taken place in Parliament in what seemed to be a fight between the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs during an official induction session for new and returning MPs.
The incident was captured in a video that was posted online and apparently taken from the Old Assembly.
In the video Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise is seen intervening to try and diffuse the situation.
More than five EFF members in their red overalls are seen standing in front of the ANC benches pushing other MPs around and waving their arms.
It is not clear what the conflict was about.
Both the ANC and EFF spokespersons were not available to give clarity.
Statement by National Assembly Speaker:
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SPEAKER REBUKES THE UNRULY BEHAVIOUR OF MEMBERS
Parliament, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 – The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise, has commiitted that this morning’s incident at Parliament, involving a clash between certain Members of Parliament during today’s induction programme, will be investigated to avert any recurrence in future.
Ms Modise has strongly denounced the conduct of a handful of MPs involved in the incident as unbecoming and uncharacteristic of honourable Members of Parliament.
The Speaker, who was in attendance but not chairing the session, took to the podium and appealed to Members to adhere to the decorum and respect the authority of the Chairperson of the Session. She stressed that while it was normal and acceptable for difference of views to arise from time to time, it was inappropriate to allow emotions to get the better of public representatives in such fashion.
Other than the unfortunate brief incident, the week-long induction and orientation programme, in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, is proceeding well and will conclude on Thursday.
The programme is intended to ensure capacity for MPs to discharge their Constitutional roles and responsibilities as elected representatives. These programmes cover their constitutional functions, legislative processes, House rules and policies, amongst others.