ANC MP allegedly threatens female ANC MP in Parliament with violence

Session in Parliament: File Photo
Session in Parliament: File Photo

AN ANC MP has been accused of physically threatening a fellow female party MP during 3 sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday night.

While MPs were in the process of passing adjustments to the budget as proposed by the finance minister last month‚ it was alleged that controversial ANC MP Mervyn Dirks was threatening a woman ANC MP with physical violence.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has now referred the matter to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete for further investigation and possible action against Dirks.

The name of the alleged victim could not be ascertained by the time of publication.

Dirks‚ was also ejected from the House for literally showing the middle finger to opposition MPs after they reported the alleged physical altercation to national assembly house chair Cedric Frolic

"Serious allegations have been made against a member of this house by members in that corner of the house and we have indeed escalated the allegations to the head of the institution‚ the speaker. Among those allegations are that serious insults have been thrown at our female members at the back there‚” said ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu while pointing to the corner of the national assembly where Dirks was seated along with other ANC MPs.

"Secondly‚ threats and gestures of assault have been made against members at the back there. We have therefore asked those members to put in writing all those allegations so that we can formally put them before the speaker so that the process of parliament‚ including the disciplinary processes of parliament‚ can be brought to bear on who has threatened any member of this house‚" said Mthembu.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen pushed for the immediate ejection of Dirks from the House‚ saying his behaviour was in breach of the rules of parliament.

"Honourable Dirks has really violated Rule 69 E and F of the house and for the safety of the members there and the decorum of the house‚ he should be removed from the house‚" said Steenhuisen.

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula also entered the fray‚ saying a threat of violence has no place in the National Assembly‚ particularly during the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

"Chairperson‚ if there have been threats made against a women in this house right now and if there's evidence of that I think you can make a ruling. It is sixteen days of activism against women and children and we can't have a man who's going to threaten women in this chamber‚ let alone strangle‚" she said.

EFF MPs had earlier warned that there was a commotion in the section of the house where Dirks had been seated.

Frolick said he did not personally witness the alleged incident but asked Dirks to confirm or deny it before the hundreds of MPs.

"Honourable chairperson‚ the allegation made against me by the racist DA‚ and the cronies of the DA is not correct. I've never been involved in any altercation with any member at the back here. The racist DA wants to make these allegations in the house‚" said Dirks.

Frolick said Mbete would immediately start dealing with the matter at the conclusion of the session on Thursday night‚ which was the last day of parliamentary sittings for the year.

"We rely on the integrity and honesty of members of the house…it is quite serious if you are given an opportunity to give your side of the story and the information that (later) comes out is different. I don't want to conduct a DC from where I'm sitting…I am going to request that immediately after this sitting the honourable speaker deals with the matter‚" said Frolick.

COPE MP Diedre Carter alleged that Dirks had also been under the influence of alcohol.

Dirks has been at the centre of controversy in parliament this week.

He formed part of a group of ANC MPs seen as supporters of President Jacob Zuma who accused Mthembu of colluding with the DA when parliament scheduled a debate on state capture‚ which was held on Tuesday.

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