South Africa: Barbs, Knife Twists and Well Wishes Before Parliament Goes Into Recess for Local Government Elections

opinion

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula sent MPs on their electioneering way with well wishes for the campaign trail.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

"As we campaign let us please be mindful that we are still in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic. We have lost many loved ones, including members of our Parliament... May we have free and fair 2021 local government elections," said National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Electioneering rhetoric had been wielded like sharpened okapis from both sides of the House since the Constitutional Court ruled the municipal poll will not be postponed, and must be held by 1 November.

While the ANC called out the opposition for electioneering, some of its MPs were just as blunt - "Don't forget to vote [for] the ANC on 1 November 2021!" came from the podium in the final minutes of the last sitting on the last day before elections recess from 10 September. But the DA and the EFF gave as good as they got.

In those verbal skirmishes even a "bloody racist" from the podium seemed okay - until DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone's point of order on "self-confessed racist Helen Zille" was upheld. Sort...

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