The EFF tabled a motion in parliament earlier this week in a bid to have the Cape Town International Airport renamed after late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, but things went off-script when the motion was debated.
An altercation began with parliament’s deputy chair, Soloman Tsenoli, taking EFF MP Primrose Sonti to task for “screaming repeatedly”.
“Honourable Sonti, I think it’s out of order for you to be screaming repeatedly the way you do,” a visibly flustered Tsenoli said.
“Listen to you, you are doing it even as I’m speaking to you,” Tsenoli continued, after Sonti did not stop.
“This is bad, ma’am,” he added.
This led to Tsenoli requesting that Sonti leave the house, which she initially refused to do, leading to him requesting security’s help.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu then called a point of order, which led to a verbal altercation between him and Tsenoli, culminating in the deputy chair switching off Shivambu’s mic after he rejected calls to sit down.
After Sonti eventually left, Tsenoli accepted Shivambu’s point of order and allowed him to speak.
Shivambu began by calling Tsenoli the “outgoing deputy chair that is hopefully outgoing soon”.
“You think you are going to call violence on us when we are raising a point about mam’ Winnie Mandela,” he continued.
He threatened to “report” Tsenoli “to the relevant structures” and then told him he “must be removed like a dog”.
Shivambu continued in this manner, eventually withdrawing his statements, after which EFF leader Julius Malema got up.
Tsenoli chastised him and said he was not behaving “according to the rules”.
Malema denied this, adding: “Otherwise I can throw this glass at you”.
The leader of the red berets was told to withdraw his “threat”.
He eventually did so, shouting “I withdraw unconditionally” repeatedly.
The EFF have spearheaded ongoing attempts have Cape Town International Airport renamed the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport since last year.
The party released a statement ahead of the parliamentary session, saying that there are “very few spaces and areas that are named after female freedom fighters in South Africa.”
The party notes that April will mark a year since the struggle icon’s death, and says that “the greatest honour to give Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be to rename the Cape Town International Airport after the struggle icon, in order to ensure that memories of her gallant war against apartheid are not deleted”.