South Africa: Fisticuffs As Malema Can't Ditch VBS - While the ANC Plays Nice

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema (file photo).
analysis

The fourth parliamentary debate on matters economic in two weeks showed, again, how each political party insists only it has the answers. On Tuesday EFF leader Julius Malema hit the usual notes of blaming the white-dominated private sector and ANC incapacity. But he couldn't escape the VBS scandal.

EFF business often unfolds accompanied by a good old dust-up. And Tuesday was no different. Angry swearwords were uttered just off mic, and escalated to scuffles among opposition MPs.

It was "VBS" muttered from the DA benches that got EFF leader Julius Malema to react, targeting Galeb Cachalia with some choice words. DA MP Denis Joseph intervened and had his tie yanked as several other EFF MPs, including Marshall Dlamini, national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and secretary-general Godrich Gardee joined the fray -- as did at least two DA MPs.

While DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen stood on a point of order, saying presiding officer Madala Ntombela should have ordered an investigation as "it is not acceptable for members to be threatened", Ndlozi downplayed the incident in the opposition benches.

"I don't know what must be investigated. People were talking to each other here... I saw the president of the EFF speak to...

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