Parliament drama: ANC calls opposition 'racist' & 'fascist'
ANC says a dangerous alliance between a “racist” DA and a “fascist” EFF displayed contempt for democracy.
CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has described what happened in Parliament yesterday as a "chaotic circus" and has launched a fresh attack on opposition parties calling them "racists" and "fascists".
The National Assembly saw high drama during a debate on the Nkandla spending.
In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report and found that President Jacob Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from the upgrades at his KwaZulu-Natal home.
Madonsela ordered that the president pay back a portion of the money used for the upgrades at his home.
The debate was overshadowed by jeering, howling and a near fist fight between ANC and opposition Member of Parliament (MP) who refused to hear each other's motions for debate.
The ruling party says yesterday's behaviour by MPs in the National Assembly undermines the integrity of Parliament.
The ANC says a dangerous alliance between what it calls a "racist" Democratic Alliance (DA) and a "fascist" Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has displayed contempt for democratic institutions and calls on Parliamentary officials to maintain order.
The statement goes on to commend the work of the Nkandla ad-hoc committee and once gain criticises the walkout by opposition members.
But the ANC does not mention riot police being called into the National Assembly to deal with opposition parties and allegations of assault levelled against the police by the DA.
Video: Chaos in Parliament.
MPS RECOUNT DISORDER IN PARLIAMENT
Parliament's presiding officers are set to give a briefing this morning on last night's dramatic events in the National Assembly.
A DA MP has described to Eyewitness News how she got caught up in a scuffle between police and other MPs in Parliament.
The party says it intends laying charges against the police.
Parliamentarian, Terri Stander, says she was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
"At the time I didn't realise the extent of my injuries, but as time went by I started noticing bruises on my body and I had grab marks on my arm and neck."
Police were called into the National Assembly chamber yesterday after the sitting descended into mayhem.
Armed riot police hauled a female MP out of the house and several other opposition Parliamentarians were assaulted in a fracas that led to proceedings being abruptly suspended late last night.
Opposition MPs told Eyewitness News they're laying charges of assault against the police, who entered the chamber after an EFF MP called Zuma a thief and a criminal and refused to retract her statement.
As riot police moved into the chamber, Parliament TV cut the live feed.
The EFF MP's forced removal by police came after opposition MPs challenged Mbete's ability to be impartial while also serving as the ruling party's national chairperson and a brutal debate on Nkandla.
The ANC majority, muscled through the adoption of the Nkandla ad-hoc committee's report, absolving the president of any liability, as opposition MPs warned the country was at a crossroads.
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh said, "Nkandla is now a permanent stain on the presidency and the ANC. They have protected one man, but opened a wound in our nation that will bleed forever."
Shocked and emotional, MPs last night told Eyewitness News of bloodied noses and cut lips, sustained in clashes with armed police, while there was no clarity on who ordered them in or to blackout proceedings in the house.
ANC COMES TO MBETE'S DEFENCE
The ANC has denied Mbete is biased and is protecting the governing party in Parliament.
Opposition parties are calling for her to step down accusing her of not being able to do her job adequately enough.
Under her watch, the national assembly has on a number of occasions descended into chaos.
The ANC's Moloto Mothapo defended Mbete said, "We're not told how she protects the president or the ruling party because all she's supposed to do is apply the rules agreed upon by all political parties."
NKANDLA SCANDAL SETS PARLIAMENT OFF
Opposition MPs savaged the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee's report on the scandal which has been described by some as a 'white wash.'
Committee chairperson Cedric Frolick says the group's noted the costs for the upgrades to the president's home, but adds he's not responsible for them.
He says Zuma must now decide on the next step.
"He must consider whether any members of the executive failed to implement the provisions of the cabinet memorandum of 2003, either through complacency or negligence in the execution of their duties and if necessary take appropriate action."
However the DA's Mmusi Maimane has slammed the committee saying it's one-sided.
"The adoption of the report by the ANC committee is a travesty of parliamentary oversight. Zuma has forsaken his Constitutional duty and the ANC's report has rubberstamped his sins."
Video: Deputy speaker puts his foot in it.