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Dig at the EFF? Madonsela says 'a lot of public representatives have no clue what a point of order is’

10 June 2022 - 11:00
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says 'being hit in the pocket could make people give parliament the decorum it deserves'. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says 'being hit in the pocket could make people give parliament the decorum it deserves'. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has shared her observations of SA politicians, saying most have no clue what a point of order means. 

Madonsela shared her views after watching the presidency budget vote debate on Thursday. 

The debate was delayed after EFF MPs made good on the  promise by the opposition party to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa, raising multiple points of order. 

The red berets were backed up by leader Julius Malema and the rest of the party’s caucus with regular interjections on the virtual platform. 

“Watching parliament right now has convinced me a lot of public representatives have no clue what a point of order is,” said Madonsela.

While Madonsela did not name the MPs in question, many thought her comment was a dig at the EFF's MPs.

A point of order is a query in a formal debate or meeting about whether correct procedure is being followed.

In parliamentary procedure, a point of order occurs when someone draws attention to a rules violation in a meeting of a deliberative assembly.

Madonsela said parliament rules should be enforced with fines and not only kicking people out. 

“In ordinary clubs people are fined when they speak out of turn. Why is parliament not doing the same? Being hit in the pocket could make people give parliament the decorum it deserves,” she said. 

During the debate, EFF MPs present in the National Assembly were thrown out of the chamber for repeatedly raising points of order for Ramaphosa not to address parliament. 

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, who was attending via the virtual platform, was muted after shouting accusations at Ramaphosa.

He was asked to withdraw his statements, but refused and was removed from the virtual platform.

Taking to social media, Shivambu said the EFF will not stop disrupting Ramaphosa. 

“This is unacceptable and we will fight him until he’s defeated. We always win battles like these and we will win,” he said.

In a statement, the EFF condemned speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s actions to mute MPs, saying it was illegal and a criminal decision. 

“We condemn in the strongest terms the disgusting, barbaric and dictatorship conduct of the speaker of parliament, who unilaterally and without quoting any rule of the National Assembly muted more than 289 MPs on the parliamentary virtual platform,” said the party. 

“We further condemn the illogical, factional and suppressive decision to remove Malema, along with Shivambu, from the virtual platform without just cause.

“The EFF will not tire in the quest to ensure Ramaphosa is held accountable, no matter what threats may be made against members or any physical violence that may be deployed by the blood-thirsty Ramaphosa.”

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