A South African opposition lawmaker wanted to get a point across to the deputy president during a parliamentary debate. So he raised his middle finger in a gesture widely recognized as obscene.

South Africa's parliament is supposed to be an enclave of orderly debate, but these days it's better known for ruckuses associated with the Economic Freedom Fighters, a new political party that wants to redistribute resources to the poor.

Floyd Shivambu, a deputy leader of the party, on Wednesday lifted a middle finger toward Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa while accusing him of involvement in the police killings of several dozen people during labor unrest at a mine in 2012.

Shivambu retracted the gesture Thursday, saying it was not necessary because there were other ways to express his "utter disgust."