Parliament will never look the same again!

Don Makatile

Don Makatile

When they are sworn in tomorrow to kick-start the onset of the fourth democracy, many of the members of Parliament will be new to Cape Town - they will even bring some novelty to the hallowed halls of the building.

If Table Mountain does not stir a fraction, at least, the red carpet will never be the same again!

Forget about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who is making her comeback to the National Assembly. She is a spectacle and a whole photo opportunity all on her own.

The dull grey suits reminiscent of the Rubicon Speech era of the late PW Botha will only be represented in dress by men of mature age like the ruling party's Isaac Mogase, a former Johannesburg mayor, motormouth Koos van der Merwe (IFP) and old schoolteacher Ntopile Kganyago of the UDM.

Even IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has a penchant for ditching his dreary Fort Hare alumni blazer and opt for something more sartorially elegant when the occasion calls for it.

For a term or two before being carried shoulder high into the Malmesbury Hotel - oops, Prison - former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni was the best thing that happened to men's fashion in Parliament.

The Gucci socialist is about to lose this tag to younger parliamentarians who are likely to come in dressed to the nines in all sorts of designer labels.

Fikile April Mbalula, we are told, is not a bad dresser. The camera, as they say, never lies. We wait with bated breath .

A bit of Italian chic is also coming to Parliament with the IFP's surprise inclusion of the controversial constitutional lawyer Mario Oraini-Ambrosini.

He'll give the likes of Malusi Knowledge Gigaba, he of the curtain material ties and famous for buying his missus flowers at taxpayers' account, a run for their money.

The bane of men's fashion - tradition - will be left to, among others, the PAC's Letlapa Mphahlele, who has been dying to replace Motsoko Pheko as the sole voice of the party of Sobukwe in Cape Town. You can almost count on one-man show APC, the African People's Convention, in the person of Scopa head Themba Godi, to come dressed in something inspired by the Mapungubwe or some such northern forces. Once in a while churchman Kenneth Meshoe dresses sensibly in a suit and tie. But he's not averse to tradition.

His ACDP takes only two people to Parliament, a drop from the three last time around.

Mosibudi Mangena of Azapo is also in this to-suit or not to-suit bunch.

Survivor and former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi is best advised to change his spectacles. The Austin Powers sense of fashion will do nothing to enhance his charm on the "catwalk".

But how will they get here - by bus, brollie or bird?

An impeccable source cracks up as he tells the story of how one Sello Moloto got to Parliament in 1994 - by public transport.

A few months later, he drove down home to the backwaters of Limpopo behind the wheel of a spanking brand new Toyota Cressida GLi6.

Ah, but for the wonders of an MP's salary!

But what will those like mining tycoon Tokyo Mosima Gabriel Sexwale, number 31 on the ANC list, show up in?

There's no chance he'll arrive on the back of a claustrophobic seat of a no-frills airline. A private jet?

Do not count on former SANDF boss Siphiwe Nyanda arriving in anything less than a discounted Mercedes-Benz either.

If newcomers Cope decide on their list soon enough, we'll know for sure how their presidential candidate Mvume Dandala shows up - on a wing and a prayer. With the cream on top pushed aside, it is left largely to Cope to give Parliament its new face.

With their favourite token black leader Joe Seremane enjoying the sunset away from politics with a beautiful young wife, Helen Zille's DA, back with 67 seats, will unveil a good number of their new ebony skinned legislators.

Patricia de Lille returns with three other ID nominations, among these the dynamic Lance Greyling, aged 37.

With a good few youngsters on the National Assembly lists of many parties, it should not come as a surprise if street bashes become the order of the day in Acacia Park, the parliamentarians' complex.

With sworn party animals and self-confessed house music addicts like Buti Manamela (ANC) would you expect anything less?

To paraphrase a cliché, Parliament will never be the same again!