Today's Big Stories

Parliament Post-Chaos - what next?

Parliament Post-Chaos: there’s been widespread discussion, comment, criticism and condemnation of scenes that saw armed riot police going into the chamber and manhandling Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela away from the speaking podium on Thursday, taking her out of the house entirely. Mashabela had refused to stop saying that President Jacob zuma is a thief. Earlier opposition parties had attempted what’s being called a filibuster - to stop the ANC from passing a resolution exonerating President Jacob Zuma over government’s spending at Nkandla. Late on Thursday evening, night Mashabele tried to finish her speech when action was taken by the then Acting Speaker, Cedric Frolick. This followed Frolick suspending proceedings, and calling the police to remove Mashabele. At that point the vision and sound feeds to Parliament were cut - for all television stations – and for Parliament’s own interview feed. But photographs and videos taken by cellphones in the chamber show scenes of pandemonium – MP's arguming with police, where it appears that at one point, the DA MP's tried to stop the police from removing Mashabela. Early on Friday morning, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete explained why the police were called and why the sound and vision feeds were cut. EWN Parliamentary Correspondent, Gaye Davis:

(Whether Mbete was justified in calling riot police into Parliament) she seems to think so and she said the reason they cut the (television) feed was to protect the dignity of Parliament and you wonder how calling in the police to remove a female MP will help to defend the dignity of Parliament.

ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe:

(On who should be held responsible for Thursday's events) it's Parliament itself. Parliament is an institution that has a duty to handle its affairs and ensure there's order in Parliament. Baleka Mbete is the Speaker of Parliament and is called upon Parliament to do that. What worries me is when the EFF is called to order for unruly behavior, the blame is often shifted towards the Speaker. We ought to condemn such behavior.

DA Parliamentary Leader, Mmusi Maimane:

What took place yesterday was not only an assualt on our Parliament, but also an assault on our democracy. As opposition parties, we can't accept them (ANC) to use police to prevent accountability, because what will happen next is they will call in the army. The ANC has been on a streak of not coming to Parliament, they let their members leave early. They merely want to dump the report (on Nkandla) and leave for their flights. They must do their due diligence in Parliament.

Editor of the Rand Daily Mail Online, Ray Hartley:

Frene Ginwala as the first Speaker of Parliament - her thing was throwing open the windows of Parliament - gave the committee legitimacy, with participation from the opposition. The initial promise of Parliament was incredible and to watch what happened yesterday is like chalk and cheese. Jacob Zuma's presidency has been about turning away from the people and moving towards cronyism and awarding people with jobs that aren't qualified for them, with MPs constantly having to defend these moves and cutting of corners. All MPs need to answer for themselves 'what did they see yesterday' with everything that was happening. And the truth is, we saw a circus.

Cell C's loss to their Most Disgruntled Customer: confirmation in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday that the banner put up by George Prokas claiming that Cell C is the most useless network provider in South Africa can stay up and an order that Cell C pay Prokas's legal costs as the matter is not urgent. Founder and Managing Director of Brand Leadership Group, Thebe Ikalafeng:

The important thing to remember is that consumers are the ones who own the brand. The so-called 'owners' of the brand are really the custodians because they operate because of a license from consumers who support them. What you're seeing now with the advent of Twitter and social media is that consumers are really taking their rightful place. What you're going to see now is that companies will now start to take customers seriously and they should.

Labour as tax: in the Business Day, a suggestion from the University of Pretoria's Tax Head Prof Madeleine Stiglingh in which she says people who are unemployed should also be contributing to the state and could do so through their labour:

Many say that history makes us wise, but even before people had money, they paid tax in different forms by working on state-owned lands, so they paid tax in the form of labour. The responsiblity of government is to provide.

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