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Parliament, Wednesday 7 November 2018 – Honourable members, before we proceed to questions I would like to state that our rules, practices and conventions all have a singular purpose – to ensure that in this House we can come together in an open forum to debate our political differences in such a manner that all voices have the right to be heard and are afforded dignity.

This is at the heart of the struggle for an open and democratic society – for which so many gave up their lives. We forged a country, out of the ashes of our apartheid past and transcended all that was done to us. In doing so we unequivocally said that no matter how divergent our political views, we would uphold the values of tolerance, dignity and respect. We saw each other as fellow human beings – no matter your race, no matter your creed, no matter if you belonged to the majority or the minority. In so doing, we distinguished ourselves from a violent and lawless society.

This is not to say that we are not a deeply divided society or that the wounds of the divisions of the past do not run deep in all of us. However, as honourable members we have a duty, by our actions, to contribute towards the healing of these wounds and to set an example that can be emulated by society. I therefore appeal to members to always remember this.

The incident which occurred in the House yesterday during questions to the President can only be described as unfortunate, unacceptable and outrageous. Honourable House Chairperson Didiza has submitted a report to me and she will be making a ruling as promised in due course.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

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