Hard hat could be a dangerous weapon: MP

2016-05-17 19:39
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - The humble hard hat may be deemed a dangerous weapon in Parliament after an MP coshed a protection officer with it on Tuesday.

''Today I saw the danger of the makarapa,'' ANC MP Mzameni Richard Mdakane said,during a rules committee meeting after Tuesday's rowdy question and answer session with Zuma.

''It was thrown to protection services in a manner that was very dangerous,'' he said of the red hard hat the Economic Freedom Fighters MPs wear with their red overalls.

Makarapas are the painted and decorated hard hats spectators wear to sports events.

The committee was not trying to constrain MPs’ freedom of choice or expression, but the rules stated that dangerous objects could not be brought into the House, he said.

Tempers flared earlier when Economic Freedom Fighters MPs demanded that Speaker Baleka Mbete take action against President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court found his handling of the Nkandla matter was inconsistent with the Constitution.

Mbete ordered that they be removed and called protection services into the Chamber. EFF MPs punched, slapped, threw water bottles, and resisted all the way to the doors.

Going through the changes to the eighth draft of the National Assembly Revised Rules, Mdakane said there had been complaints about a water pistol brought into the House previously.

Mdakane said closer attention needed to be paid to the public gallery. EFF supporters were seen leaving the gallery to go downstairs to help the MPs being evicted.

The committee resolved to refer to a sub-committee the DA's questioning of a ruling in the National Assembly that court judgments could not be used in remarks directed at MPs.

Deputy Speaker Thoko Didiza ruled it was against the rules because it could be seen as an aspersion.

DA MP John Steenhuisen said it was a finding by a presiding officer of a court, not an aspersion. ANC MPs said the incorrect quoting from judgments was the issue.

The committee agreed to refer it to a sub-committee before Parliament rises next week.

Read more on:    eff  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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