Pandor is arrogant and hostile, says Madisha
Though deputy president of the Congress of the People Willie Madisha admits his mocking of Minister Naledi Pandor’s accent was an aberration, he will not apologise.
Madisha shocked Parliament this week when he made animal noises and mocked Pandor’s English accent during a heated debate in the National Assembly on Wednesday evening.
This was after Pandor, who rose on a point of order, drew the attention of presiding officer Thoko Didiza to the fact that Madisha, who had been instructed to withdraw an unparliamentary comment, had not done so.
“I was very angry in Parliament. My anger could and may be repeated. I am not sorry about it,” Madisha said.
In his input on the debate about the mineral resources budget vote, Madisha referred to media reports that Speaker Baleka Mbete was given shares worth R25 million in gold mining firm Gold Fields in an allegedly corrupt transaction.
Didiza reprimanded Madisha for this and told him to withdraw the comment.
He refused, insisting it was the truth. When he eventually withdrew it, he said he would withdraw “the truth”.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula suggested that the parliamentary bar close at 6pm on days when there was a late session because the effects of the open bar were playing themselves out in the House.
On Friday, Madisha sought to dispel the notion that he was drunk, saying the brain operation he had undergone was also irrelevant.
“I do not even drink. Instead, there are some in the ANC benches who drink so much I had to drive them to doctors and to the hospital,” he said.
Madisha said he was “particularly galled” by what Pandor did and the manner in which she had done it, adding he had reacted to unwarranted provocation.
“Minister Pandor never knows when to leave well alone. She hectors and belittles. She assumes a superiority that grates. Her tone is arrogant and hostile,” he said in a statement.
Madisha accused Pandor of using her ministerial status to stifle debate, especially when it related to government corruption.
Pandor’s spokesperson, Lunga Ngqengelele, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.