ANC MP allegedly verbally attacked by Mervyn Dirks speaks out

Priscilla Mantashe says that Dirks insulted her and made offensive comments about her brother, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and their late mother.

ANC MP Priscilla Mantashe. Picture: parliament.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) MP who was allegedly verbally attacked by party colleague Mervyn Dirks in the National Assembly has spoken out about the incident.

Priscilla Mantashe says that Dirks insulted her and made offensive comments about her brother, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, and their late mother.

Dirks is one of a handful of ruling party MPs who tried to scupper this week's debate on state capture.

Mantashe says that Dirks reduced her to tears with his offensive comments about her family.

“He was angry and continued with the insults. I was angry but more hurt, because my mother had just passed on.”

The incident was brought to House chairperson Cedric Frolick's attention when the Democratic Alliance (DA) pointed to a commotion in the ANC benches.

But Frolick didn't see what had happened and Dirks denied attacking anyone.

He was later asked to leave the chamber after showing DA members the middle finger.

The matter has been escalated to Speaker Baleka Mbete's office.

Dirks' conduct has been an issue in the past. He was previously accused of using an offensive racial slur to refer to DA MP Phumzile van Damme and he has been caught flipping the bird on other occasions.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)