Mbete cracks the whip on Floyd over remarks
PARLIAMENTARY Speaker Baleka Mbete will refer EFF deputy leader and chief whip Floyd Shivambu to a disciplinary committee for refusing to withdraw an unparliamentary remark in a National Assembly debate in November, 2016.
But a defiant Shivambu said: “That was a long time ago. It’s old news. I won’t withdraw.”
Shivambu made the comment after Mbete said in Parliament’s announcements, tablings and committee reports that the conduct of the red beret MP at a sitting in November would be referred to the new disciplinary committee “following his failure to withdraw an unparliamentary remark” for investigation and reporting.
The disciplinary committee includes the ANC’s Amos Mahlalela, the DA’s John Steen- huisen, the EFF’s Hlengiwe Hlophe, the IFP’s Narend Singh, the FFP’s Corné Mulder and the ACDP’s Sherylin Dudley.
Shivambu’s woes were sparked by a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, whom he likened to post-colonial African despots, when he said he had nothing to lose and would kill his opponents.
“After he has dealt with everyone else, he is going to arrest all of you. He is going to lock you up. He is going to kill you.” When he was asked by Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to withdraw his remarks and bring a “substantiated motion”, Shivambu refused.
“I cannot withdraw that reality and it is a reality that we are living under a growing dictatorship of Jacob Zuma, who seeks to enrich himself and his family. It is a fact. There is no need to withdraw that. I will never withdraw. It will never happen.”
Tsenoli had said he viewed Shivambu’s refusal to withdraw his remarks as “a serious violation”.
Yesterday, although he did not know why Mbete had only now referred his conduct to the disciplinary committee, Shivambu said he remained unfazed ahead of the pending vote of no confidence against Zuma.
“We will never be intimidated by anything. I don’t know what the intention is all about,” he insisted.
Shivambu is no stranger in refusing to withdraw the so-called unparliamentary language.
In his early days in Parliament in 2014, Shivambu was asked several times to conform to the rules of the House and withdraw his remarks that Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela was lying.
“How do I say he is not telling the truth. Please guide me. What is the proper word. At least guide me so I know. The reality is that he is not telling the truth.
“What should I say to that, that this guy is lying?”
He also refused to withdraw calling Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa a murderer over the deaths of the miners in Marikana.
However, he later made a public withdrawal for gesturing with a “middle finger” when he walked out of the National Assembly after he was ordered to leave for refusing to withdraw his remarks.
At a public hearing in Parliament earlier this year, Shivambu also refused to withdraw his remarks when he made references to a “criminal syndicate that is objecting to the passing of legislation”, after the Progressive Professional Forum’s Mzwanele Manyi and Black Business Council’s Danisa Baloyi complained.
UNREPENTANT: The EFF’s Floyd Shivambu