Hon members, during the debate on the state of the nation address on 19 February, hon A Watson rose on a point of order, alleging that a statement by Mr R B Bhoola was, and I quote, "racist". He asked me to rule on the matter. I undertook to study the Hansard and return to the House with a ruling. Having had an opportunity to do so, I wish to rule as follows.
Hon Bhoola said, and I quote from the English translation of isiZulu in the Unrevised Hansard:
Mr President, the people support you and like you. They understand that white people would never do anything for their benefit. What would happen to them would be a complete fiasco, as the one that happen to Ramphele.
It is clear from the translation that the hon Bhoola, at most, could be accused of perpetrating a broad generalisation and perhaps even stereotyping, but I do not find his statement racist or derogatory of another ethic group. His remarks were therefore not unparliamentary. [Applause.]
However, having said that, I do want to sound a word of caution. Shortly after the aforementioned statement, hon Bhoola said, with reference to the hon Leader of the Opposition, and I quote, "I wonder if hon Mazibuko is black enough?" That is clearly a remark that is not characteristic of the tone we want to prevail in this House. Understandably, members are in electioneering mode, but we call on everyone to refrain from making remarks that could be construed as personal and divisive. I thank you.