03/01/2017 08:27 SAST | Updated 03/01/2017 09:28 SAST

Mandela Would Have Been Proud Of Parliament, Speaker Gushes

Uhm . . . Would Nelson Mandela have approved of the shouting matches, "white shirts" and insults?

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Party leader Julius Malema and members of his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) clash with Parliamentary security as they are evicted from the chamber in Cape Town, South Africa, May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South Africa's Parliament faced its greatest tests in 2016 but came out stronger and more resilient, Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete said in her New Year's message received on Monday.

''We believe, 2016 did not only demonstrate, most graphically, that vibrancy of our constitutional democracy, but pushed wider the boundaries of what was described as 'limits of what is befitting Members of this House','' she said.

Mbete was writing after a year marked by shouting matches, walkouts, physical removals and at one time a smashed side door.

She was also hauled over the coals by the Constitutional Court for her handling of the National Assembly's decisions on what to do about state money spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla.

In between all that, she also married businessman Mokgatla Khomo in a private ceremony in the Eastern Cape.

Looking back, Mbete regarded 2016 as a year the political forefathers, such as Nelson Mandela, would have been proud of, and felt Parliament was at a critical point in transforming itself to meet future challenges.

''As a people's Parliament, we will continue to ensure that Parliament is the go-to agency of the people that addresses their developmental needs and their immediate concerns,'' she said.

The institution would continue to work on delivering services to its members and to the people of South Africa.

''We wish you all, a safe and a wonderful festive season, as well as, a fruitful 2017,'' she said. -- News24Wire