EFF rejects danger pay for Parliamentary bouncers

2017-05-07 20:10
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (File, Netwerk24)

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lambasted Parliament's decision to pay its bouncers an extra R400 in danger allowance.

The EFF condemns the decision by the Speaker of National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to pay the "white shirts" an extra R400 for the supposed "dangers at work", the party said in a statement on Sunday.

"In essence, Baleka Mbete is paying her professional hooligans, not only to remove members of parliament from the chamber, but also to do so as 'dangerous work'," said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, in a statement.

In the first place, the EFF objected to the idea that there must be a unit whose job is to remove MPs from the chamber for the things that they say, Ndlozi said.

In February, the EFF and Cope MP Willie Madisha were removed from parliament during President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address.

Brawl

A brawl between EFF members and the bouncers ensued when the party refused to let Zuma address the MPs.

"What these professional hooligans do and exist for in parliament violates section 58 1(b) of the Constitution which states that members of the National Assembly have freedom of speech in the Assembly and in its committees, subject to its rules and orders; and are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the Assembly or any of its committees," said Ndlozi.

He said the spirit of this provision is to guarantee freedom of speech.

"Freedom from fear of intimidation, arrest or any violence that may lead to MPs not speaking their minds. By paying people to come and remove MPs for things that they say as 'dangerous work' creates legitimate basis for fear, and thus, speech can no longer be considered to be free in parliament," said Ndlozi.

Mbete is willing to take tax payers' money and pamper the white shirts for assaulting MPs, he said.

"In the process no care is given whatsoever to the injury of MPs, EFF women in particular who have been assaulted at the hands of Mbete's professional hooligans," Ndlozi said.

This proves yet again that Parliament is willing to do everything, including compensated violence, to suppress speech all because they do not want the truth.

"Mbete has created a situation where there is more freedom of speech outside parliament, in places like taxi ranks, than there is inside Parliament," Ndlozi concluded.

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo told City Press: "It is common knowledge that they [bouncers] often suffer injuries as a result of physical assault, which in the past has resulted in hospitalisation and the need for professional counselling."

Mothapo also said the danger pay was "an additional compensation above basic compensation granted to employees serving in risky and harmful situations", the City Press reported.

Read more on:    parliament  |  eff  |  cape town  |  politics

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