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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs