This MP is likely to be rising on a ‘pint of order’ pretty soon. Tsepo Mhlongo is facing the wrath of his Parliamentary colleagues this week – after he was caught shopping while attending a sitting of the National Assembly online. The camera briefly flashed onto him, allegedly showing the politician in a liquor store.
Duty calls: DA MP allegedly spotted in a liquor store
Although the exact details of Mhlongo’s shopping trip haven’t been established, his camera interrupted the ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe while he was addressing the house. The jeans and shoes of the rogue MP then came onto the shared screen, as he walked past crates of beer, and six-packs of Hunters.
You should read more carefully. It was a DA MP whose video showed him in what appeared to be a liquor store during a virtual parliament session.
— ACDP South Africa (@A_C_D_P) August 19, 2020
EFF MP Natasha Ntlangwini immediately raised the issue with the house, branding the incident ‘improper’:
“Tsepo Mhlongo was busy within Tops. Can we please ensure that this comrade gets out of the liquor [store] and comes to the work of Parliament because the guy’s in Tops as we speak. It is ridiculous that some of us make time and others are just in Tops and drinking wines. It’s improper. We can’t be reduced like this.”
Watch: Parliament interrupted by ‘liquor store trip’
We’ve isolated the video from the point where Mhlongo’s screen comes into full view. Just after the 17-minute mark, the MP can be seen walking around the aisles – but was it really a liquor store? The jury is still out…
Connectivity issues for Parliament
This entire incident does, at least, confirm that Zoom meetings and the National Assembly simply do not mix. In the early days of virtual Parliament, several meetings were ‘porn-bombed’, as outsiders hacked into the video calls to post graphic sexual images. There’s also the infamous ‘topless politician’ who logged on to a meeting while in bed.
The Mhlongo incident isn’t an isolated one, but the DA representative is yet to respond to these claims on Thursday. Like it or not, the fallout from this fiasco could leave this MP with a long-lasting hangover.