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South Africa

EDITOR'S NOTE: Honourable members should take the brawling outside in future

I warned you in this column two weeks ago that we’re in for another long five years, despite the New Dawn.

Parliament hasn’t even opened and honourable members have literally been at each other’s throats. Clearly we can’t afford to cut the “white shirts” budget, as much as we support the austerity drive. Their services will still be required to restore order and uphold decorum.

Before Parliament rises, let me jump up to a point of order and ask that honourable members take the brawling outside.

I have no problem with robust, no-holds-barred debates, as long as they aren’t physical and barbarian. Scuffling and fighting, or what I should term extramural combat tactics, to show respect to the honourable members, do not belong in Parliament.

Why take part in an orderly, free, fair and civilised democratic process together with ordinary citizens on voting day and then, as soon as you are given the power and the mandate, resort to ruffian behaviour?

What happened in Parliament this week is beyond “unbecoming”.

The Speaker should first cleanse that previously august House before it officially opens.

The imbongi budget can be used for this, as that cultural service was scrapped.

But if you ask this wannabe poet about the scrapping of that service, I would say, sad day!

The presidential praise-singing, a colourful tradition dating back to the Madiba era, is part of the colourful beauty of our diversity.

The tradition that must go is the despicable one of brawling like hoodlums.

The Independent on Saturday
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