The ANC found itself outmanoeuvred when EFF leader Julius Malema turned their points of order on wife-beating against them.
The ANC in Luthuli House sent best wishes to its members in Parliament ahead of Tuesday's State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate. "We wish all our MPs well and the best of luck -- through them in Parliament the ANC Lives and the ANC Leads," said the governing ANC's official statement.
Instead, what unfolded on the ANC benches in the House was a fundamental rules misunderstanding and an incapacity to pull off effective parliamentary political tactics.
The trading of deeply personal insults on the pretence this was politics, not only trivialised, but disrespected the tens of thousands of survivors and victims of gender-based violence -- including the 2,771 women murdered from April 2018 to March 2019, according to the SAPS crime statistics.
It was fellow Limpopo politician and a former ANC Youth League mate of now EFF leader Julius Malema, first-time ANC MP Boy Mamabolo, who opened the door.
"Will the Honourable Malema take a question," Mamabolo asked. Unusually, Malema said yes.
Perhaps the EFF was aware and briefed on what the ANC had planned for Tuesday afternoon's sitting. It...