Parliament beefs up security ahead of Zuma’s address

2015-02-08 10:00
President Jacob Zuma (File: AP)

President Jacob Zuma (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Parliament has sent its security staff – of about 80 people - on a self-defence course in what is seen to be a bid to beef up security ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s  State of the Nation address on Thursday.

According to the Sunday Times, this is in preparation for possible physical assaults on security by members of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party.

The newspaper reports that all 80 staff members were collected from their homes on Saturday night for training and it believes the exercise will be repeated tonight.

It has also emerged that 16 of the units most physically strong were sent for a three-day special training camp at an SAPS Academy in Cape Town.

One official reportedly complained that staff were being trained on how to “manhandle a person” – and how to apply force.

Safety and security

However, this comes after News24 reported last week that no extraordinary security measures are being put in place for the opening of Parliament, its secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said on Wednesday.

Briefing the media on preparations for the 12 February opening, which includes President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address, he said security would be consistent with such a high-level event.

"In terms of safety and security, this is a high-level event. All three arms of the state are present... as well as various dignitaries. So security measures consistent with [this]... have been put in place by the security services."

Parliament's security staff were working with their security service counterparts to make sure the event went smoothly.

Responding to a question on whether reports of increased security for the event were correct, he responded: "If the question is are there extraordinary security measures, the answer is no."

Mgidlana said "appropriate security measures" were being provided.

Asked if there were special plans to deal with disruptions by MPs, Mgidlana declined to be drawn on what he described as possibilities.

Successful event

"We have planned for a successful event... You are talking about possibilities... we can't be planning for possibilities that may or may not happen."

The opening was a state event involving pomp and ceremony.

"You have all role-players playing their specific roles... as far as I know, you do not have a situation where any of the role-players are looking at usurping the roles of others."

The EFF, who have 25 MPs in the National Assembly, have threatened to disrupt Zuma's State of the Nation address, which he is set to deliver from 19:00 on the Thursday.

Mgidlana told reporters on Wednesday that the budget ceiling for the opening was R4m, in line with government's austerity measures.

"We have cut our budget by well over half."

Last year's openings - there were two - cost R9m and R4.6m, he said.

Read more on:    eff  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2015  |  parliament 2015

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
166 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.