Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Cape Town -

Is “snollygoster” unparliamentary language?

It turns out it is, and DA MP Pieter van Dalen had to withdraw his accusation that Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was one, but not before the minister reminded the House that Van Dalen had also once called her a “b***h”.

Wednesday’s episode in the National Assembly revisited the acrimony of October when, after a tough agriculture committee meeting, Van Dalen was reportedly overheard calling Joemat-Pettersson a teef (b***h in Afrikaans), although some said it was dief (thief in Afrikaans). He denied using either term.

The minister subsequently requested a meeting with DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who also met Van Dalen. The matter went quiet. Until Wednesday’s parliamentary question time.

The ANC asked the DA to withdraw snollygoster, which means a person, especially a politician, guided by personal advantage rather than consistent, respectable principle. Cape Argus