Naledi Pandor provoked me - Willie Madisha

COPE DP says, however, that he hopes he will never react in the same way again


12 June 2015

Firstly, I have never done anything like this before and never hope to do anything like it again. I will positively discourage any one in our party from reacting as I did. It was an aberration.

Secondly, good English, like good isiXhosa or proficiency in any of our official languages is something that we should all strive for. It is a great accomplishment to speak a language well. Let me make it clear that I have no issue with the quality of the Minister's English.

Let me also dispel the notion that I was inebriated. I certainly was not. Also, the cranial operation I had some years ago is irrelevant.

I was particularly galled by what Minister Pandor did and the manner in which she did it. I reacted to the unwarranted provocation. Minister Pandor never knows when to leave well alone. She hectors and belittles. She assumes a superiority that grates. Her tone is arrogant and hostile. Again and again she stands up and uses her ministerial status to stifle debate especially when it relates to government corruption.

She does not find allegations of a massive bribe intrinsically offensive. She takes offence against the matter of the bribe being raised in parliament. Providing any kind of shield against corruption in government is revolting to COPE.

The House Chairperson got me, reluctantly, to withdraw the issue of the R25 million bribe allegedly paid to Ms Mbete. But Madam know all, Minister Pandor, had to butt in, as she always does after everything was settled, to wash what was already hanging on the line. Her action was totally uncalled for and very provocative in a highly charged situation. I wanted her to understand my disgust at her attempt to get me to back off on raising the issue of bribes in the awarding of mining licences.

In retrospect, I ought to have brushed off her attempts to belittle me. Reacting as I did was inappropriate and occasioned solely by the provocation from the Minister. It happened in the heat of the moment and in the course of a very long sitting.

If Minister Pandor acts less arrogantly I will behave more appropriately.

The full leadership of COPE discussed this matter and accepted that the unnecessary provocation by Minister Pandor was an aggravating factor and therefore what I said was not premeditated in any way.

Willy Madisha (COPE) MP

Statement issued by COPE, June 12 2015