Floyd Shivambu has vowed to “publicly withdraw the middle finger” after flipping the bird at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a statement on Thursday, Shivambu tried to explain his actions captured on parliamentary television footage showing him giving Ramaphosa the middle finger shortly after being told to leave the National Assembly.
“In the process of leaving the house, I raised my middle finger towards Mr Ramaphosa to express the disgust of the reality that workers have lost lives due to his pursuit of private profits and interests,” Shivambu said.
“I, however, realise that raising the middle finger was not necessary because there are platforms to express the utter disgust for Mr Ramaphosa’s role in Marikana and everywhere else where he is involved.”
Shivambu said while he would not withdraw his comments that Ramaphosa “murdered” workers at Marikana in 2012, he regretted the hand gesture.
“Instead of raising the middle finger there exists space and time to express honest and truthful observations on his role in the counter-revolution,” he said.
“I therefore publicly withdraw the middle finger and will bring this to the attention of the House in the next sitting of the National Assembly.”
Both Shivambu and EFF leader Julius Malema were ordered to leave the House during question time on Wednesday.