Why Steenhuisen thinks he's right and Julius Malema is wrong

Why Steenhuisen thinks he's right and Julius Malema is wrong

After the scuffle in Parliament on Tuesday, where the DA and EFF got caught up in questionable conduct with each other, there's a huge conversation over what disciplinary action should be taken against those involved.

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Briefly.co.za reported that a Parliament meeting got dramatic and chaotic.

House chair, Thoko Didiza, found it difficult to keep order in the building as the EFF and the DA kept acting unruly.

The DA and EFF, and eventually AGANG, all lost sight of the president during his Q&A session as they started arguing.

The DA's Steenhuisen called the EFF 'VBS Bank looters', and this triggered an angered response by the Red Berets.

The building reverberated with the "Pay back the money" chants that were aimed at the EFF.

They decided to hit back at the DA, chanting 'Racists'. Malema was eventually heard saying something along the lines of 'We cannot let these whites speak' and this angered a member of AGANG.

Just moments after the EFF and DA almost got to blows, the EFF had members charging at AGANG, seemingly hell-bent on getting physical.

Like toddlers sent to the naughty corner, EFF's Julius Malema, and the DA's John Steenhuisen, were booted out of Parliament on Wednesday after both men refused to apologise for insults thrown at each other.

Didiza asked Steenhuisen to withdraw his comments that EFF members are 'VBS bank looters'

However, Steenhuisen refused to retract his comment, saying Didiza was not consistent with past rulings by other presiding officers.

She then instructed him to leave Parliament's chambers.

Once Steenhuisen left, Didiza focused her attention on Malema. She told the National Assembly that Malema broke Parliament's rules when he hurled a racist slur at Steenhuisen.

Malema called him a 'racist, young white man' and accused the MP of forcing himself on someone.

Didiza ruled that Steenhuisen’s “VBS looters” remark to Malema and Ndlozi is unparliamentary.

“It’s always unparliamentary to insinuate another member is acting dishonourably whether directly or by implication.”

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In a submission made to Didiza, Steenhuisen then claims the camera footage of the scuffle and the events leading up to it proves his comments were not directed at one specific member, but rather the EFF as a party.

Steenhuisen pointed to a ruling by Frene Ginwala, in 1998, which exempt a comment that called the National Party racist.

READ ALSO: An EFF Limpopo councillor was arrested on a charge of robbery

Ginwala’s ruling was:

“We have always drawn a distinction between allegations against members of the House and the expression of opinions about the beliefs and policies of political parties. Accordingly, references to a member as “a racist” have been held to be unparliamentary. Allegations that a political party supports racist views or has or is implementing racist policies are made frequently and have not been held to be unparliamentary. They are, in my view, a part of normal political discourse and any attempt to limit this would set a dangerous precedent.”

According to Steenhuisen, calling the EFF VBS looters, without directing it at an individual, and using it in its plural form, is enough proof that his remarks were aimed at the EFF, not one person.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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