Parliament reduced to a playground

I admit that normally I watch the South African parliamentary channel just for entertainment. This is because I've come to realise how funny our Members of Parliament (MPs) really are.

Yesterday, the National Assembly was dealing with a motion of no-confidence in Speaker Baleka Mbete brought by five opposition parties.

The Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Congress of the People, the United Democratic Movement and the Freedom Front Plus wanted Mbete removed from her position as they believe she has failed to carry out her duties. They accuse her of not being objective as speaker of the National Assembly.

What transpired during the so-called debate was chaos. At first, I was rolling on the couch laughing. I couldn't understand half of what Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was saying. His speech was peppered with strong English and insults. There were also those MPs who stood up on a point of order for almost everything.

The session was delayed by members demanding that their colleagues be called 'honourable'. I felt like I was watching a group of pre-schoolers misbehaving. I felt sorry for the chair, Cedric Frolick. He had to try and maintain order while MPs were calling each other losers, charlatans and counter-revolutionaries.

After a while, the whole circus stopped being funny. I looked at these people trading insults while we, the taxpayers watched on. These were our leaders. They're in Parliament to represent us and to debate laws and the challenges facing our country.

But instead of representing her constituency, ANC MP Bertha Mabe was telling EFF leader Julius Malema that he was nothing. I cringed. Recently, some MPs have been arguing that they're protecting the dignity of the house against the EFF. This can't be true. What happened yesterday proved that there's no dignity in the National Assembly.

There was howling, insults and racist comments from the so-called honourable MPs. This got me thinking, is this the best South Africa has to offer in terms of leadership?

Lindiwe Mlandu is a member of the Eyewitness News team in Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter: _ @LindiweMl_