EFF threatens Parliament with lawsuit, calls Mbete a cane-wielding apartheid principal

2015-07-29 11:36
Baleka Mbete. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

Baleka Mbete. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

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Another lawsuit looms against Parliament, this time over proposed rules governing the removal of MPs who disrupt sessions in the house. 

Besides the Economic Freedom Fighters, which has threatened legal action, all the other political parties yesterday agreed with the proposed rules. 

The EFF hotly objected and accused other MPs’ of wanting to turn Parliament into an “apartheid school where speaker Baleka Mbete sits and waits with her cane like a principal during the apartheid era.” 

The rules are expected to be presented for approval by the National Assembly at the parliamentary session tomorrow. 

They may therefore already be in force by August 6, when President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to answer questions in Parliament. 

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “You want to put through rules to remove the EFF so that Parliament can go back to sleep as it has for the past 20 years – so that a president can mock our questions, mock our accents and mock the Public Protector’s recommendations.” 

Ndlozi warned the ANC: “You will again be embarrassed in court.” 

ANC MP Richard Mdakane said it was the MPs right to approach the courts. 

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu compared Parliament with a kangaroo court. 

“You are trying to steamroll the process in a bid to protect Jacob Zuma,” he said, 

The EFF was alone in its opposition. 

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said it was necessary to adjust the rules as situations required. 

“We have found ourselves in a unique situation where sittings are seriously being disrupted.” 

The new rules offer more clarity on the role of the police and Parliament’s security guards. 

They stipulate that, in the event that an MP is addressed on unruly behaviour and is asked to leave the house and then refuses, the MP may only be removed by parliamentary security guards. 

Outside on Parliament’s premises the police can intervene and remove the MP from the premises. 

It was also determined that a multiparty committee would be formed and, within 24 hours of the incident, would meet to discuss the incident and decide on the course of action.

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