Battle of the Berets: EFF and ANC MPs clash in Parliament training

Battle of the Berets: EFF and ANC MPs clash in Parliament training

- The elections were the first indication that it was going to be a spicy term in Parliament, and the nation's politicians have not disappointed

- An induction session at the Old Assembly yesterday saw a confrontation between ANC and EFF MPs, with Speaker Thandi Modise jumping in to play referee

- DA MP Annelie Lotriet, who chaired the induction, claims that the EFF had ulterior motives for disrupting proceedings

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Things got heated in Parliament yesterday, with a confrontation taking place between ANC and EFF Members of Parliament.

A video of the incident is doing the rounds, showcasing a group of around seven EFF politicians standing in front of the ruling party's benches, pushing other MPs around.

Newly-appointed deputy -inister, Mandla Mandela, can be seen in the front row of the ANC's seats, shooing EFF MPs away. Mondli Gungubele, ex-deputy-finance minister, tries to coax the riled Red Berets to move aside.

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According to News24, an MP claims punches were thrown, but this is not visible in the video footage. An MP says that the EFF members are believed to have instigated the incident.

Democratic Alliance MP, Annelie Lotriet, who had chaired the session to introduce the politicians to the mechanics of legislating and lawmaking, says that the EFF's Makoti Khawula had seized the opportunity to taunt 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."

At this point, according to Lotriet, EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele jumped up to the mic, shouting at the ANC and paying no heed to the chair. Joined by other EFF MPs, Mokwele had marched over the ANC benches and the fight ensued.

Modise had been forced to march into the fray, separating the two groups before giving them a firm 'dressing down'.

Lotriet feels that the EFF has ulterior motives in disrupting the first day of induction, which had also been chaotic:

Lotriet said the first day of induction on Tuesday was also chaotic: "The EFF is clearly preparing for something. They are disrupting sessions and depriving new members of learning about the culture, convention and traditions of Parliament."

EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, has not yet responded to the incident.

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