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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.