Pushing and shoving as EFF and ANC clash during MPs' induction session
It may be a new term, but it seems the 6th parliament is destined to be as rowdy as its predecessor.
This after newly elected National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise was forced to "physically" separate EFF and ANC MPs as they attempted to assault each other on Wednesday during an induction session.
DA MP Annelie Lotriet, who was presiding over the session, said Modise was forced to intervene as matters degenerated when EFF and ANC MPs threatened to attack each other during the induction session on law making.
The induction was meant to train MPs on the operations, procedures and rules of parliament before they officially begin their duties ahead of the state of the nation address, scheduled for June 20.
It was clear on the first day of the training session of new and returning MPs that there was no love lost between EFF and ANC representatives.
Those from Julius Malema's party repeatedly told those from Cyril Ramaphosa's party that "uyapha wena" - or "you're just too forward" - during turns to ask questions.
"The first round of questions went well and in the second round a member of the EFF stood up and started with a speech instead of asking a question. As I could hear from the interpretation he was also insulting the ANC, so the ANC got quite upset. So I then intervened and asked the EFF member to please stop and refrain," said Lotriet.
"An ANC member jumped up and also complained and I said please give me the opportunity to deal with this but then a member of the EFF switched the microphone on and did not give me the opportunity in any way to deal with the matter.
"She kept on talking and then it was a toing and froing between the EFF and the ANC. The member of the EFF started walking across the floor with other members of the EFF following her towards the ANC and the ANC then started to retaliate," she added.
Lotriet said it was at that point that Modise, a stickler for the rules, was called in to diffuse the tension than lasted for around three minutes during what was supposed to be a laid-back training session.
"The speaker then came in and had to physically intervene between the two groups. She gave them a dressing down, which was necessary and we then proceeded … all in all it was three to four minutes," said Lotriet.