Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA

Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chair Thandi Modise should have taken much swifter action against the EFF and DA during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

So says ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe‚ who accused the two of prolonging the mayhem in Parliament.

Mantashe said the two presiding officers should have cut the chaos short.

"All I said this week is that the presiding officers allowed it to go on too long. They should have cut it within 10 to 15 minutes and that’s it‚" he said.

Mantashe threw the ball into the National Assembly’s court to deal with the conduct of opposition parties‚ saying it was not the responsibility of the ruling party.

The EFF disrupted President Jacob Zuma’s atate of the nation address‚ resulting in the party being violently thrown out of the House. The DA also walked out‚ protesting that Zuma has broken his oath of office.

Mantashe was speaking in Wembezi‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ on Saturday. He was delivering the Oliver Tambo lecture to the party’s Okhahlamba region.

Speaking to The Times after his address‚ Mantashe defended the ANC saying the party was not instigators of the mayhem.

"The ANC has not disrupted parliament‚ not once now it can be the responsibility of the ANC to deal with what is happening in parliament‚" he said.

He said the rules of parliament must deal with those who are disrupting the proceedings.

"The rules of parliament must deal with that but the ANC has no responsibility of disrupting parliament. We always go there‚ we are disciplined and we remain in parliament and we play according to the rules. Therefore it is not our responsibility to deal with opposition parties that want to disrupt parliament‚" he said.

Mantashe stressed the unity of the ANC saying the factions do nothing but "destroy the party of Oliver Tambo".

"The factions destroy and divide the organisation. What then happens is that the leadership base of the ANC becomes narrower and narrower. The party then becomes the shadow of its former self‚" he said.

Mantashe said no amount of hatred should divide the party and said an "enemy in the ANC is artificial one".

TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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