National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise has been praised for defusing a potentially violent confrontation between Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers at Parliament on Wednesday.
MPs came close to blows during a training session in the Old Assembly Chamber, with EFF and ANC members squaring off against each other after insults were thrown.
MPs told Eyewitness News how Modise, who was not in the chamber when the ruckus started, strode into the room to deal with those involved.
The fracas erupted just a day after Modise urged MPs to respect each other at the start of the three-day training session.
The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa strongly condemned what happened: “We want to give credit to the Speaker for the very decisive intervention of immediate disciplining of those members – in a manner which was not biased, she fully understands the role and functions of her office.”
New Democratic Alliance MP Nazley Sharif was taken aback at how quickly things escalated.
“The Speaker came and what she did was excellent, she reprimanded the House and she demanded that everybody respect each other,” she said.
The session continued without further disruption.