Parliamentary committee to decide on Shivambu's apology

Floyd Shivambu appealed to MPs to accept his apology for 'flipping the bird' to Cyril Ramaphosa.

FILE: EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu showing deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa middle finger in Parliament on 17 September 2014. Picture: Twitter - @Gareth EdwardsSA.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Member of Parliament (MP) Floyd Shivambu says showing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa the middle finger in Parliament was unjustified and inappropriate.

The EFF's chief whip was apologising in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Shivambu's gesture, made when he and EFF leader Julius Malema were ordered to leave the house during Ramaphosa's question-time last month, was this week added to the charges he already faces over the disruption of President Jacob Zuma's question-time in August.

He swallowed his pride and addressed the house, appealing to MPs to accept his apology and withdrawal of the middle finger he flashed at Ramaphosa.

"The apology is unconditional as there's no justification for doing that because I do agree and admit that it was inappropriate."

Shivambu told MPs Parliament was no place for what he called inappropriate gestures and that it should be a place where people rather engaged politically.

His apology will now be forwarded to the Powers and Privileges Committee, which is weighing up disciplinary action against Shivambu and 19 fellow EFF MPs.

In a statement, Shivambu said he raised his middle finger at the deputy president to show his disgust at the loss of workers' lives at Marikana.

Malema also told Ramaphosa he had blood on his hands and Shivambu accused him of being a murderer.

Ramaphosa spent two days on the stand at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry earlier this year, answering questions about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

He was a non-executive director at Lonmin Platinum at the time.

The deputy president was heckled by a group of angry miners who accused him of having blood on his hands.