Insults hurled as EFF MP charges towards ANC member in parliament
EFF MP Makoti Khawula had to be stopped from physically attacking ANC MP Khaya Magaxa during a budget vote debate on correctional services on Wednesday.
During the debate, presented by minister Ronald Lamola, Khawula complained that the parliamentary translation service from English to Zulu had not been provided.
Magaxa, allegedly in response, accused Khawula of being dumb.
This set her off on a tirade and led to an exchange of insults. Khawula called Magaxa a donkey and other names.
"You are calling me dumb … uyimbongolo wena [you are just a donkey].
"I can show you now who is the dumb one," said Khawula in Zulu as she charged towards Magaxa but was stopped by other EFF MPs.
Eventually, house chair Madala Ntombela intervened, saying what had happened "is beyond me".
"Honorable Ma' Khawula you have used very obscene language in the house. Which is totally unacceptable," he said.
Ntombela said the incident threatened the decorum of the house. "What has happened now is unprecedented," he said.
Ntombela asked Magaxa to apologise for what he said to Khawula, saying it was unacceptable.
"Ma Khawula, you have used seriously insulting words. Could you please withdraw what you said and apologise … even though you were offended," he said.
Khawula apologised but not without talking down Magaxa.
EFF MP Natasha Ntlangwini stood up and demanded that Magaxa not be allowed to threaten Khawula again.
"We have been talking this thing about the language several times. And we all know that Ma Khawula is challenged relating to her languages. So why is it an issue now? We can't have this continuous asking for translation and a clown just comes up and says Ma Khawula is dumb. It must never be allowed," she said.
Magaxa responded by asking whether it was a privilege afforded to the EFF to call him a clown.
"Do they have that particular specific privilege?" he asked.
Ntombela said he didn't know if calling someone a clown was unparliamentary and would consult Hansard and revert back.