Radebe lambastes unruly behaviour in Parly

The minister said the integrity of Parliament must be protected and guarded by all its members.

FILE: Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has lambasted the recent unruly behaviour by some members in the National Assembly.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing in Parliament today, Radebe described the display of unruly conduct in Parliament by some Members of Parliament (MPs) as shocking and disappointing.

He pointed out such behaviour goes against the ethos of the country's struggle for democracy.

Radebe said the integrity of Parliament must be protected and guarded by all its members.

He added that the rowdy behaviour eroded accountability and detracted from the National Assembly's role to uphold the values and principals enshrined in the Constitution.

A scuffle erupted on 13 November 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.

Leaders from 11 opposition parties met with Deputy President Cyrial Ramaphosa to initiate crisis talks at Tuynhuys on Tuesday.

The talks were aimed at putting Parliament back on track.

Ramaphosa announced he would chair a multi-party committee comprising National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and all parties to find solutions to tensions that have brought Parliament to near breaking point.

Parties agreed to abide by the rules and Ramaphosa agreed that the same should apply to presiding officers, Zuma and his Cabinet ministers.

But the deal lies in tatters barely 24 hours after it was sealed.

The ANC blamed the Democratic Alliance (DA) for undermining the agreement, by refusing to withdraw its motion of censure against President Jacob Zuma for breaching Parliament's rules.

This means the agreement that disciplinary steps against 20 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs would be shelved, also now falls away.

The DA denies there was any agreement and says part of the resolution was that the rules should be obeyed by all.