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MP ejected for saying Deputy President David Mabuza 'lacks credibility'

Deputy president David Mabuza.
Deputy president David Mabuza.

An opposition MP was booted out of the National Assembly on Tuesday for telling Deputy President David Mabuza that he "lacks credibility" to be the leader of the moral regeneration movement.

Andries Tlouamma‚ the sole MP of small party Agang SA‚ was ejected from the chamber by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lechesa Tsenoli after he refused numerous requests for him to withdraw remarks that Mabuza was not credible enough to lead the moral regeneration movement and "needed to be rehabilitated from the premier league".

The “premier league” was a group of ANC premiers from Mpumalanga‚ the Free State and the North West that was close to former president Jacob Zuma and campaigned unsuccessfully for his preferred successor Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party's elective conference last year.

Speaking during a discussion on Mabuza's reply to a question from DA chief whip John Steenhuisen on the work of the moral regeneration movement‚ Tlouamma said the newly appointed deputy president was simply not suitable to lead the movement.

Tlouamma claimed Mabuza had failed as Mpumalanga premier and had faced several allegations against him during his tenure.

"It's unfortunate that you're not a good example of a moral leadership‚" said Tlouamma amid loud jeers from ANC benches.

Deputy President David Mabuza faced his first #QandA in Parliament on March 2018. Here are the highlights.

"You lack credibility‚ I want to know if yourself‚ you've been rehabilitated since you were part of the premier league‚ the rot of the past Zuma administration. How are you going to champion moral regeneration‚" he said.

But Mabuza was not allowed to respond and the matter degenerated into a heated exchange after ANC MP Hlomane Chauke raised a point of order‚ saying Tlouamma was in breach of parliamentary rules as he was "casting aspersions on the Deputy President" without a substantive motion.

Tsenoli ruled in favour of Chauke and asked Tlouamma to withdraw his remarks but he refused.

"I'm not casting an aspersion‚ it's true‚" insisted the Agang MP.

"Honourable member you are worse…you're worse than I thought. You (should) withdraw that remark‚ ask your question and sit down‚" retorted Tsenoli.

But Tlouamma hit back.

"Deputy speaker‚ I don't between you and me [know] who's worse."

Tlouamma was ordered to vacate the house after refusing to take back his remarks.

Earlier Steenhuisen asked Mabuza what he planned to do about political killings in his home province of Mpumalanga.

Steenhuisen cited several cases in which the former Mpumalanga premier was allegedly involved.

Mabuza said anyone with evidence of wrongdoing in the alleged crimes should report it to the police.

"I think honourable members must do the right thing‚ otherwise you must avoid a situation where we going around casting aspersions against people without any due process [being followed].

"This I take it‚ is just a process to harm their names and their character. But I take it that the law enforcement agencies in our country must do their work without fear of favour or hindrance.

"So if members here have any information about all the political killings everywhere‚ please confront the law enforcement agencies and report or go to the nearest police station and lay a charge‚" said Mabuza as he pointed toward DA MPs.

"You normally do that yourself‚ you've laid so many charges. Now it's one thing to go‚ parallel to the law‚ and cast aspersions and not report anything or lay a charge. But laying a charge means you must substantiate. It's easy to cast aspersion but not easy to substantiate on your allegations‚ thank you very much‚" said Mabuza.

Mabuza was taking oral questions from MPs for the first time since his appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa last month.

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