ANC MPL told to apologise for 'peacock slur'
AN Eastern Cape ANC MPL has been instructed to apologise to opposition parties after he allegedly called them "peacocks with scruffy feet".
This follows a meeting last week in which a recording was listened to and ANC MPL Christian Martin was found to have contravened provincial legislature rules.
The meeting was attended by leaders of opposition parties, speaker Fikile Xasa, chairman of committees Alfred Mtsi, ANC chief whip Humphrey Maxhegwana and deputy chief whip Michael Peter.
"The speaker will reprimand Martin in the next sitting. Martin will also have to apologise unconditionally to the members for his behaviour," Peter said.
He said his party would first hear what type of reprimand the speaker would impose before taking action.
"We do not encourage abusive language in the house. However, Martin was provoked into reacting the way he did," he said in Martin's defence.
He then attacked the opposition parties and said "their walkout was unnecessary and unwarranted. We are, however, very concerned by the opposition's behaviour".
Opposition parties in the Eastern Cape legislature walked out of a house sitting after being called "peacocks" and other derogatory names in a sitting early this month.
The sitting, on Friday October 12, in Humansdorp, became disorderly when ANC MPLs allegedly started calling members of the opposition names instead of discussing a social needs cluster report.
The opposition parties then walked out. This resulted in the social cluster report not being adopted. The report was on the state of hospitals, schools and other projects in the Humansdorp area.
The report highlighted funding and management problems.
Legislature spokeswoman Bulelwa Ganyaza said Xasa, who is handling the Martin matter, would work with all the leaders of political parties in the legislature.
"The legislature can confirm that the matter has been reasonably resolved. According to the rules of the legislature, the presiding officers will make a ruling on the matter on the next sitting of the house," Ganyaza said.
UDM MPL Max Mhlati welcomed the ruling by Xasa and confirmed that Martin had been instructed to apologise.
"Xasa will reprimand him in the next house sitting," Mhlati said. - email@example.com