Hon members, during the debate on the Presidency's Budget Vote on 12 June, hon D T George rose on a point of order asserting that hon R B Bhoola was insulting a member of the House and that what he was saying was unparliamentary. He did not specify what exactly hon Bhoola had said. I undertook to study the Hansard and return to the House with a considered ruling. Hon Bhoola said, and I quote from an unrevised transcript:
The DA selectively targeting the Shaiks, Reddys and Guptas smack of racism. Interestingly enough, hon Kalyan had her mouth zipped while her own party incites racism. She, instead of being a professional, behaves like a clown and a mascot.
Having now had an opportunity to consider hon Bhoola's remarks, I now wish to rule as follows.
The Rules governing unparliamentary language are broadly framed in order to allow as much freedom of speech for hon members as possible. However, well established practice also dictates that any statement or remark that impacts on a member's dignity or affronts that person's honour, must place a curb on freedom of speech. Accusations that the member is acting in a racist manner are regarded as particularly bad in the context of our history and are not allowed at all.
In this particular case, hon Bhoola's accusation of racism initially reflects on the DA as a party , when he continues to infer that hon Kalyan is complicit in that racism by keeping quiet, it is unparliamentary. It is common practice that we allow such references with regard to parties.
As for hon Bhoola's remarks about hon Kalyan being complicit in her party's alleged racism and that she did not act in a professional manner but rather like a clown and a mascot, I have to point out that referring to another hon member as a ``clown'' has been ruled unparliamentary on many occasions. [Interjections.]
Though it does not reflect on hon Kalyan's integrity as such, but rather on her actions, it does infer that she does not have the necessary regard for the dignity and decorum of the House in allowing herself to be manipulated.
The inference of covert racism on her part, exacerbated by the comparison to a clown and a mascot, is unparliamentary. I therefore have to ask hon Bhoola to withdraw his remark. I am told that he is not in the House but, on the next occasion when he is in the House, we will ask him to withdraw. That remark is unparliamentary. [Applause.]