Johannesburg South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) reacted angrily to the conduct of legislators of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) conduct in Parliament.
The EFF members disrupted proceedings while President Jacob Zuma was answering questions and refused to leave the National Assembly after ordered to do so by Speaker Baleka Mbethe on Thursday.
“This is an act of rebels masked as parliamentarians who are committed to hijack our democracy, parliament and legislatures.
"EFF is not in parliament to resolve or to engage robustly to solve any problem, but there to cause destruction and anarchy. They use and hijack parliament and legislatures as laboratory's for political adventurism, we call on parliament to wake up to this reality and defend its integrity,” Zizi Kodwa, ANC spokesperson, stated.
He said millions of South Africans who voted for political parties to represent them in parliament, have their hopes and aspirations in parliament and MPs.
"Parliament therefore, must not allow itself to descend to a kindergarten and betray the hopes of our people. The violent nature of EFF engagement provokes emotions and this may lead to political intolerance which its consequences are dire for our democracy," Kodwa said.
However, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national party spokesman, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said the actions by EFF in parliament on Thursday were justifiable.
"President Jacob Zuma did not respond to the public protector's report and directive that public money was spent in his private home security upgrade and to that extent he must pay back.
"President Zuma was asked by the EFF leader, Julius Malema in parliament as to when is he paying back the money as per the Public Protector's directive, but Zuma did not respond and chose to stick to the nonsense that the minister of the police must determine who is going to pay," Ndlozi said.
Ndlozi accused Zuma of "insulting" the intelligence of parliament" and that of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by saying the police minister must indicate who should pay the money.
"The EFF cannot join the toothless tactics of parliamentary procedure when the very foundation of the rule of law is undermined by the executive," Ndlozi said.
Julius Malema, a former ANC Youth League President, leads the EFF, which was formed last year.
They have an uncharacteristic dress code in Parliament - red overalls or aprons and matching berets.