DA follows gushing Waters out of parliament

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

DA MPs yesterday staged a walkout of parliament after Speaker Baleka Mbete suspended their colleague Mike Waters.

Waters was suspended for undermining the Speaker's authority.

Yesterday Mbete said Waters had been suspended for five parliamentary working days for his conduct in parliament.

The ANC parliamentary caucus supported Mbete's decision to suspend Waters.

On Wednesday, Mbete ruled Waters out of order when he posed a question to Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as to whether she had been convicted of theft years ago in Botswana.

The Speaker said it reflected on the integrity of the minister and imputed impropriety on her part.

When Waters questioned Mbete's decision to reject his question, Mbete ordered him to leave parliament.

But a clearly agitated Waters accused Mbete of "defending a thief".

Mbete replied: "We reaffirm that it is indeed established practice that a member who wishes to bring allegations of improper conduct against any member should do so by way of a substantive motion, a procedure which Waters failed to follow.

"Waters' demonstration of contempt to the authority of the Speaker when instructed to behave orderly, and his spewing of insults to both the Speaker and the minister, is an unbecoming conduct."

Yesterday, DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha said Waters' suspension from parliament "for carrying out his responsibility" prompted her to lead the walkout from the chamber.