Parliament’s torrid week continues. After Tuesday’s gamesmanship – which saw ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani pull a switcheroo on opposition parties to ensure they walked out before a vote of no confidence was due in Speaker Baleka Mbete – Wednesday brought little calm to the National Assembly. With a rare opportunity to put questions to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on offer, the biggest thing on the opposition’s mind was Marikana.
If there is a moment that captures the spirit of the fifth parliament so far, perhaps it came during Wednesday’s National Assembly sitting, when the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu showed the Deputy President of South Africa his middle finger.
We’ve been building up to this, after all. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we’ve been sliding downhill to this. On Wednesday, ANC MP Bertha Mabe left the podium muttering “Bastards!” Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula called the EFF a bunch of “losers”. And DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen made a joke about Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane’s bum.
Shivambu’s obscene gesture, then, is merely the culmination of an increasingly chaotic National Assembly environment. How soon before things descend into actual fisticuffs? (It wouldn’t be the first…
Source : Daily Maverick