President Cyril Ramaphosa missed a golden opportunity — nay, he shirked his responsibility — to forcefully rebuke the sheer thuggery and bigotry which were on display right in front of his eyes in parliament this week.

The vulgar language, expletives and racist taunts that coursed through the corridors of parliament were not only a betrayal of the kind of society we want to build, but it is almost sacrilegious to utter them in a place that is a temple of people’s noble aspirations. It’s simply mind-boggling that parliament, the pinnacle of years of struggle and sacrifice, doesn’t seem to give some people cause to pause or restrain themselves. They couldn’t be bothered. It could just as well have been a shebeen. After such outrageous behaviour, these honourable members probably go away to high five each other for a job well done. I don’t think they even care whether their children were watching.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.