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Lindiwe Zulu: I won’t tolerate disrespect for the ANC

The minister has apologised after she got embroiled in a physical argument with an EFF MP.

South African Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: United Nations.

CAPE TOWN - Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, says while she's sorry for her conduct in Parliament last week, she won't tolerate undue disrespect for the African National Congress.

The minister has apologised after she got embroiled in a heated argument with an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament (MP) and had to be physically restrained.

This as a sitting of the National Assembly last Thursday turned ugly and even saw fully armed public order police being called in.

Zulu says she was provoked by opposition MPs who hurled insults at ruling party Parliamentarians and speaker Baleka Mbete.

"What is not acceptable is when they trade insults. Those are the things that are wrong. The rest of them, raising issues about Nkandla, that's fine, they're doing their job."

There were several angry exchanges between Mbete and the opposition, with MPs shouting "you must go".

The speaker began by setting time frames for issues to be debated in the house including the ad-hoc committee's report on Nkandla.

"I rule that notices of motion and motions without notices be limited to 45 minutes."

But opposition parties would have none of it, repeatedly chanting, "You must go! You must go"!

Shocked and emotional, MPs told Eyewitness News of bloodied noses and cut lips, sustained in clashes with armed police in the assembly chamber, while there was no clarity on who ordered them in or to blackout proceedings in the house.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s John Steenhuisen challenged Mbete to step down.

"You have lost control of the house for the second time madam speaker. You are pushing us to a Constitutional crisis and we would ask that in the interests of this institution, you step down from the chair so we can proceed with the business interests of the day."

EFF MP Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala, tried to address the house, but was told to sit down.

There were shouts of abuse of power as Mbete repeatedly failed to recognise members of the EFF clamouring for her attention.

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