Modise slams MPs over bad be­hav­iour

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

PAR­LIA­MEN­TAR­I­ANS rep­re­sent­ing prov­inces were given a dress­ing down by National Coun­cil of Prov­inces (NCOP) chair­per­son Thandi Modise yes­ter­day for their un­be­com­ing con­duct over the last two weeks.

Al­though Modise read in­di­vid­ual MPs the riot act when­ever she was pre­sid­ing, she was clearly in­censed with the con­duct wit­nessed when depart­men­tal bud­get votes were de­bated.

The NCOP has on sev­eral oc­ca­sions nearly de­gen­er­ated into scenes sim­i­lar to those in the National As­sem­bly, where the deco­rum of the House was reg­u­larly thrown out of the win­dow.

Name-call­ing, in­sults, racist re­marks and in­tim­i­da­tion of mem­bers reared their ugly heads.

Dur­ing an un­in­ter­rupted ad­dress be­fore the start of yes­ter­day’s ses­sion, Modise railed against the MPs, say­ing their ac­tion bor­dered on in­tim­i­da­tion and dis­re­spect, among oth­ers.

It was con­cern­ing that mem­bers used words and lan­guage that was un­par­lia­men­tary and abused the free­dom of speech, she said.

Modise listed sev­eral in­stances where par­lia­men­tar­i­ans had ut­tered “sies”, “you have no balls” and “you live in a house full of dogs”.

She took ex­cep­tion to when the EFF’s Nk­ag­isang Koni in the one of the de­bates sug­gested some mem­bers were drunk and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini sug­gested one mem­ber lived in un­hy­gienic con­di­tions.

Modise also noted with con­cern that the ANC’s Tsep­ane Mam­puru and James Mthethwa had made threats of as­sault in­tended to in­tim­i­date other mem­bers.

The EFF’s Te­bogo Mok­wele was also named for her words “this white man, a racist white per­son who hi­jacked the strug­gle” which had been clearly cho­sen to im­pair the dig­nity of a mem­ber and was in­con­sis­tent with the demo­cratic tenets Par­lia­ment stood for, she said.

“I have de­lib­er­ately taken time on this mat­ter.

“I think it is im­por­tant we at­tach the priv­i­lege we are given in free­dom of speech to the deco­rum of this House,” Modise said.

“I ex­pect no less from mem­bers of this House. Your con­stituen­cies are watch­ing and wor­ried about what you are de­scend­ing into,” she said.

Modise ap­pealed to the mem­bers to re­spect the rules.

“You can heckle, but please don’t take us where we don’t want to go as mem­bers.”

Through­out her six-minute dress­ing down of par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, the NCOP was dead silent.

Af­ter her ad­dress, clap­ping broke out.

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