MPs call on colleagues to bury the hatchet

MPs marking the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death have called on feuding colleagues to bury the hatchet.

Parliamentarians marking the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death, have called on feuding colleagues to bury the hatchet. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) are marking the anniversary of late former president, Nelson Mandela's death, by calling on feuding colleagues to bury the hatchet.

Inter-party relations reached an all-time low a month ago when police entered the National Assembly chamber during a heated sitting.

The sitting in the house started with fireworks when the day's programme was changed by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete despite being agreed on earlier.

MPs wanted to discuss the ad-hoc committee's report on Nkandla.

In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report and found that 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 African National Congress (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 crossroad.

Armed riot police hauled a female MP out of the National Assembly and several other opposition Parliamentarians were assaulted in a fracas that led to proceedings being abruptly suspended.

Eyewitness News spoke to three Parliamentarians who've been reflecting on recent clashes dividing the institution that was deeply respected by the iconic statesman.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani says the former statesman would have been shocked by the behaviour of MPs who don't understand the rules.

"But it's also a strategy for drama."

Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane says political parties should settle their differences through negotiation.

"There would be an opportunity where can ask where we are missing one another and where we can find one another."

The United Democratic Movement's Mncedisi Filtane agrees.

When Parliament re-convenes next February, many MPs will be hoping to return to an institution that works.


Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says the legacy left by Mandela is not simply a badge South Africans can wear for pride's sake, but a way of life to emulate.

Pandor was speaking at the launch of the In Tribute to Nelson Mandela exhibition held in Houghton last night.

The exhibition consisted of hundreds of messages of condolences left for the global icon in the form of writing, video and audio.

Pandor says this shows Madiba was a leader who defined an era.

"He was a leader who chose reconciliation over revenge, a leader whose moral courage defined our era of liberation. Our history books will define our early years of freedom as the age of Mandela."

Mandela was buried in Qunu on Sunday 15 December after 10 days of national mourning.