News / Africa

    South African Parliament Outburst Causes Order and Disorder

    Julius Malema, center, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party stands outside Parliament after he and party members heckled South African President Jacob Zuma, Cape Town, South Africa, Aug. 21, 2014.
    Julius Malema, center, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party stands outside Parliament after he and party members heckled South African President Jacob Zuma, Cape Town, South Africa, Aug. 21, 2014.
    Anita Powell

    The newest party in South Africa's parliament, the Economic Freedom Fighters, or EFF, is facing a two-week suspension after getting into a shouting match with members of the ruling ANC party.

    No one expected the EFF representatives to behave once they got into South Africa’s parliament: The far-left party is led by Julius Malema, who was expelled from the ANC for causing trouble within the party and presided over election rallies full of pumped-up, angry youths.

    In recent months, Malema has been increasingly vocal about his former hero, President Jacob Zuma, who is dogged by a corruption scandal. And so no one was surprised when the party courted danger by getting into a shouting match during a parliament session last week.

    As a result of that outburst, the party’s 25 members may now face a 14-day suspension.

    The exchange started when Malema asked Zuma directly when he intended to follow the recommendation of South Africa's anti-corruption czar and pay back government money allegedly used to improve his private homestead, Nkandla.

    Zuma responded that he had already answered, which prompted this bout between EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu and parliament speaker Baleka Mbete of the ANC:

    Shivambu: Can we please be provided with answers, not hiding behind...

    Mbete: Honorable member, that’s not a point of order. Please take your seat. Take your seat, Shivambu, take your seat. I have not recognized you.

    Shivabmu: And he has not answered the question of when he will pay the money.

    Mbete: Honorable Shivambu, I will throw you out of the house. … Take your seat, I am presiding.

    Female EFF member: We want the money.

    Mbete: Take your seat, I will have to ask the sergeant at arms. Sergeant at arms, please assist me with relieving the members who are in in this house who are not serious about this seating to take their leave.

    Shivambu: We are serious, chair, we are raising a point of order.

    Female member: All we are asking is that he pay back the money, why are we getting thrown out?

    Other EFF member: That money, Nkandla, must be paid. You can’t hide behind presidents.

    Mbete: Honorable members, I’m calling the security.

    EFF member: We want money!

    Mbete: The house is suspended for three minutes.

    This whole affair has predictably drawn the ire of the powerful ANC, which has won every election since 1994.

    In describing the EFF, ANC parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo sounds like an exasperated schoolteacher talking about a class bully.

    “It has been disruptive on more than one occasion," said Mothapo. "It has refused to abide by the commonly agreed rules of the national assembly. It is a party that does not really place its emphasis or importance on debate or a contribution of a superior debate on matters of national importance, but using its minority to push its opinions down the throats of people that disagree with them by using disruptive tactics that borders on nothing but hooliganism."

    Mothapo says the ANC wants a strong opposition, but wants them to behave. And so parliament will meet Tuesday to consider whether to suspend the EFF from parliament.

    Analyst Aubrey Matshiqi says any possible suspension probably won’t change the party’s fortunes or attitude, explaining that even if others agree with the EFF, the ANC has such an overwhelming majority in parliament that it won’t add up to much in terms of lawmaking.

    “That, however, does not mean that the ANC itself is not facing a crisis,"  said Matshiqi. "Because it’s very clear to me that in five minutes last Thursday, the EFF achieved something that the DA and other opposition parties have failed to achieve in 20 years: to highlight the fact that the ruling party, and the president, have been hiding behind parliamentary rules when they don’t want to be accountable,"

    An EFF spokesman did not respond to calls seeking comment on the matter.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: max ajida from: pretoria ,
    August 29, 2014 6:52 PM
    Zuma has lost his credibility as ruler of this country. The ANC have abused the name of Nelson Mandela. Eff is there to get answers for the people. Its not disruptive but wants answers

    by: Refiloe mncube from: white city
    August 29, 2014 3:03 PM
    Juju u dealIng wit zuma.he is an uneducatd president hu is aftr money n his witchcraft nxa

    by: Jan from: Pretoria
    August 29, 2014 2:54 PM
    Hooliganism: the ruling communist party accuses their enemies of hooliganism (instead of answering their question, for once a good one). Clearly they spent a lot of time in the USSR.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora