Parliamentary ceremonies are historically known to be slow, mundane affairs. That was the case for SA as well, at least until the EFF graced the corridors of legislative power with red berets and hardhats in 2014.
Not only did the EFF revolutionise parliamentary attire, it also managed to shatter its decorum. Disruptions started early into Jacob Zuma's second term and the now former speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete endured every colourful insult and chant coming from the opposition benches.
The disruptions continued and only grew more severe, until Mbete started calling in security officials to remove disruptive MPs. She even called in police officers on at least one occasion, leading to the Constitutional Court ultimately ruling that parliamentary laws be amended to protect MPs.
Those amendments were signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa only days before South Africans headed to the polls on May 8. As a result, presiding officers can no longer have MPs forcefully removed or arrested if they conduct themselves in a peaceful manner, albeit rather rowdy.
How this will impact on the conduct of MPs and the processes of parliament remains to be seen. But while Zuma - the target in chief - may be gone, indications are that more disruptions are likely.
This is due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the EFF will be emboldened by its growth in the opposition benches following the elections. The other factor is the silver platter of questionable MPs that the ANC is serving lawmakers.
Let's start with Nomvula Mokonyane, who the ANC has put forward to be elected parliament's Chair of Chairs. She has been implicated in allegations of accepting bribes before the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. Joining her is former minerals minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini have both been found by courts to have lied under oath. They should be considered obvious targets. David Mahlobo, Siyabonga Cwele and Bongani Bongo should not expect too much love given their stints at the corruption-riddled intelligence ministry - albeit brief in Bongo's case.
Deputy president David Mabuza, Supra Mahumapelo, Faith Muthambi (for obvious reasons), and Pravin Gordhan (for less obvious reasons) are a few other MPs that come to mind.
With the EFF's additional voices, it is sure to be as loud as ever, especially given the majority party's factional splits and loss in electoral support. All of the above, coupled with a somewhat uncertain official opposition, will severely strain parliament's ability to pass laws.
The red berets will also consider its growth in support as an endorsement of its firebrand politics.
But while the EFF has served the public by waking up sleeping lawmakers, and drawing attention to the legislature, one can only hope that it, along with all the other 13 parties, recognise their responsibility in ensuring a well functioning parliament. After all, it is the erosion of democratic institutions that not only saw public sector corruption and mismanagement go unchecked for such a long time, that same erosion is why it is proving so hard to undo the damages.
That is why South Africa needs a parliament that can hopefully start holding the executive accountable before matters again reach crisis point.
*Update: In what appears to be a wise decision, Mbete and Gigaba have both withdrawn from the ANC list of MPs. Oh, and the deputy president has asked for his swearing in to be postponed...