National Assembly to convene after last week's chaos

All eyes will be on Parliament as MPs will sit for an extended plenary session following last week's chaos.

FILE: South Africa's Parliament. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MP) will return to the National Assembly today for an extended plenary session after last week's chaos.

A scuffle erupted when fully armed public order police entered the house late on Thursday night during a heated sitting.

Tempers flared when African National Congress (ANC) MPs objected to motions brought by the opposition in an attempt to delay the tabling of a report on upgrades to the President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home.

All eyes will again be on Parliament as relations between the ruling party and opposition MP's have arguably reached an all-time low.

There will be an earlier than usual start to today's plenary sitting to deal with certain items that fell to the wayside during last week's chaotic session.

On Thursday, Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) MP's tabled motion after motion, with most questions relating to either Nkandla or President Jacob Zuma.

When an EFF MP refused to leave the podium after being ordered to do so by the acting Speaker, public order police entered the Chamber and a scuffle ensued.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu also had to be restrained after an altercation with EFF MP Godrich Gardee.

She was filmed trading angry exchanges with Gardee before being taken back to her seat by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

She has sinced apologised for her actions.

"My buttons were pushed by the insults, the denigration, the disorder that was happening, the disrespect for the rules of the house. But more than anything else, I think my buttons were pushed when a person like Baleka Mbete is insulted, humiliated and made to feel the way she was feeling on Thursday.

The DA has levelled four charges of assault after its members clashed with police.

Meanwhile, the EFF has threatened to go to court to have it declared illegal for police to enter the chamber.

Yesterday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's office announced that MP's would be meeting with him at Tuynhuis, which his office said was organised before Thursday's chaos.

The presidency said 11 leaders have so far confirmed their attendance at what's being described as a regular meeting to "strengthen" the working relationship between parties.