Mbete cracks the whip on Floyd over re­marks

The Star Late Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

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.

PIC­TURE: EPA

UN­RE­PEN­TANT: The EFF’s Floyd Shivambu

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