A DEBATE on the Presidency’s budget vote degenerated into chaos last night when EFF MPs openly disregarded the decorum of parliament, insisting on referring to ministers by their first names and threatening to deal with them outside the house.
This was after Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela compared EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema to a modern day Adolf Hitler.
Manamela attacked Malema in defence of President Jacob Zuma, who was earlier lambasted by DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and the EFF leader for his “poor leadership” of the country.
A few hours before Manamela spoke, Malema said Zuma’s ANC should change its “a good story to tell” slogan because they only delivered empty promises.
“They should change their slogan to: ‘We have a good drama to tell’. It is indeed drama when a sitting president fails to meet his own deadline on submitting the report on Nkandla; it is indeed drama when a sitting president promises the people of Giyani water, yet five years down the line, they do not have water.
“It is indeed a drama when the president promises the people of Venda a hospital, yet they still don’t have a hospital,” Malema said.
Maimane urged Zuma to either lead or step aside as president.
In response, Manamela accused Malema of being an EFF dictator who was worshipped by his MPs.
“[It] makes me shake in my boots, that here before our eyes, not Eugene Terreblanche, as honourable Maimane has suggested, but Adolf Hitler has come back from the dead,” Manamela said.
But Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ordered Manamela to withdraw his statement because comparing MPs to Hitler was unparliamentary.
However, that did not discourage EFF MPs from plunging the debate into further mayhem.
EFF MP Goodrich Gardee said he would resolve his differences with Manamela outside the chamber, intimating he was ready for a physical fight.
ANC MP Mandla Mandela entered the fray at this point, telling Gardee he was welcome to meet them outside to settle the score.
Manemela and Gardee left the chamber and the matter apparently never came to blows.
In the corridor outside the National Assembly several EFF female MPs got into a loud argument with parliamentary officials.
“We are fighters! Where is he? We want to fight!” an angry EFF MP said at the top of her voice. – Thabo Mokone and Jan-Jan Joubert