Just a week before Parliament resumes its duties for the sixth term of government, we got a little taste of what’s to come: Members of the EFF have already instigated a physical confrontation in the National Assembly, squaring up to their ANC counterparts in the middle of the gallery
Senior members of Parliament, House Speaker Thandi Modise and all newly-elected MPs were required to turn up at the Old Assembly in Cape Town on Wednesday, for the purposes of induction and training. It began as a shouting match before members of the opposition party began taunting the ANC for their record on corruption.
Why did the EFF kick-off in Parliament?
That’s where things started to get ugly. New EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele claims that, while she was speaking, she received a slew of insults from across the bench. She told eNCA that an unidentified ANC representative was stirring things up:
“They alluded to me as an ‘intombazana’ [a young girl]… he was saying things like ‘you think you are special, we are here as the ANC, we are going to beat you, zokushaya [hit you]’… like those arrogant words, like you are looking for war. That’s what upset us.”
Tebogo Mokwele, EFF MP
A taste of what’s to come
It took a last-ditch intervention from Thandi Modise to calm things down. She put herself in the middle of the fracas and dispersed both the warring parties. Modise went on to reprimand those caught up in the moment, telling the house she was “ashamed” of them.
Just TRAINING. pic.twitter.com/PrTXijGpHQ
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 12, 2019
Mokwele went on to apologise for these ugly scenes and stated that the EFF “never intended” for things to get out of hand. With Cyril Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of 2019 coming up next Thursday, disruptions like these may return to the house once more – despite government assurances that say otherwise.