Chairs thrown at Buthelezi’s daughter in legislature

A case of assault has been opened with the police in Vryheid on Tuesday after a daughter of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was struck by chairs during a KwaZulu-Natal legislature session.

Princess Phumzile Buthelezi was struck twice in the face when tempers ran high on Monday when chairs were thrown during the sitting of the legislature, held as part of the KwaZulu-Natal government’s policy of ”taking the government to the people”.

African National Congress and IFP leaders clashed over issues of service delivery moments before the chair throwing occurred.

Vryheid police have confirmed that an assault charge was opened by the IFP leader’s daughter.

Phumzile Buthelezi said: ”I did not see who hit me because there was chaos in the tent. I believe that pictures taken by video cameras will help the police identify the culprits.”

She told the South African Press Association that she would visit the doctor on Wednesday for a check-up.

Monday’s incident caused the IFP and the Democratic Alliance to boycott the KwaZulu-Natal legislature sitting on Tuesday.

DA caucus leader Roger Burrows confirmed that the party had boycotted Tuesday’s session and would not be attending the rest of the legislature’s sessions in Vryheid this week.

The DA’s Radley Keys, in a statement issued late on Tuesday, said the DA had ”exercised its right of protest against the provincial legislature for non-implementation of multiparty agreements reached seven weeks ago.”

He said: ”The DA will continue to oppose the abuse of power and lack of accountability to the public by the ANC-led provincial government.”

He said the agreement reached seven weeks ago would ensure that ”the executive is held accountable even at these public Parliament sessions.”

The IFP said it would not take part until the provincial transport minister Bheki Cele had apologised for ”invectives directed at the IFP President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi”.

The IFP’s caucus leader Lionel Mtshali also demanded a ”private apology” from the speaker of the Parliament, Willies Mchunu.

A joint statement issued by the DA, the African Christian Democratic Party and the United Democratic Movement said: ”We are embarrassed by the chaos that erupted in the interactive session on Monday 22nd October, which reflects negatively on the integrity and dignity of the house.” – Sapa

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