Slang offends DA man

INCENSED: The DA's Clive Hatch. © Unknown.
INCENSED: The DA's Clive Hatch. © Unknown.

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The use of the "f" word caused a stir in the Mpumalanga legislature this week, and it appears attendance at sessions had never been better.

This happened when the legislature had its last sitting, which soon turned into a verbal battlefield.

It all erupted when ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said: "I got fokol," while speaking about Bantu Education.

The word prompted a swiftly written objection from the Democratic Alliance's Mpumalanga leader, Clive Hatch, to the speaker of the house.

He said: "I believe this to have been unparliamentary and a bad reflection on the dignity of the house.

"I request you to make a ruling on its acceptability and request the honourable Mthembu to withdraw his words and apologise to this house."

Deputy speaker Boy Nobunga ruled that the objection was much ado about fokol and saw no offence in it.

That incensed Hatch, who had read much more into it.

"The ruling that the term used in the context of the debate was not offensive is opportunistic and once again shows the reluctance by the ANC to condemn a comrade for transgressing the rules," said Hatch.

"I, like millions of other people, find the term fokol offensive, no matter what the circumstances," he said.

Presiding officer David Mkwanazi said he believed the word meant "I have nothing".

Then entered the Christian Party's provincial leader, Louis Marneweck.

Marneweck said: "A simple reprimand on the first day of the utterance would have caused a lot less waves and the word would not have been dragged through yet another sitting, which drew a full house nonetheless."