News24 14 June 2019

EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele has apologised on behalf of the party for its role in a physical confrontation between a few of its MPs and ANC members during an induction session in Parliament.

In an interview with eNCA, Mokwele apologised for the party’s role in the altercation that marred the proceedings in the Old Assembly Chamber on Wednesday.

In a video of the incident, a group of at least seven red-clad EFF MPs can be seen in front of the ANC’s benches, pushing other MPs around and waving their arms.

DA MP Annelie Lotriet, who chaired the session to introduce new and returning MPs to the mechanics of legislating and lawmaking, said EFF MP Makoti Khawula used the opportunity to taunt and attack the ANC.

“She repeatedly attacked the ANC and accused them of electing criminals to Parliament. This obviously led to ANC MPs becoming riled up. When one of the ANC MPs started responding to her, I asked for calm and tried to explain that the purpose of the session is to talk about lawmaking.

“Suddenly another EFF MP, Tebogo Mokwele, jumped up, took the microphone and started shouting at the ANC, ignoring the chair, and started marching across to the ANC benches, followed by some EFF MPs. That’s when the fight broke out,” Lotriet told News24.

In an interview with eNCA reporter Annika Larsen, Mokwele explained that an ANC MP was calling her a “young girl” and that the EFF was only reacting in her defence.

“He alluded to me as an intombazana … [He said:] ‘You think you are special, you think you are what, we are here as the ANC, we are going to beat, zokushaya ‘,” Mokwele said.

Mokwele went on to state that, “as the EFF we are sending our apology, it was not our intention to react in the manner in which we reacted”.

The altercation is set to be investigated. The speaker of the National Assembly joined multiple MPs in denouncing the conduct of the MPs involved as unbecoming and uncharacteristic of honourable Members of Parliament.

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