Parliament to clamp down on 'disruptive' public visitors

2017-05-18 18:19
Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Parliament says its multiparty programme committee has agreed to unanimously strengthen measures to curb disruptive behaviour from members of the public who attend sittings.

"Clear, easy to understand guidelines for behaviour by members of the public who attend parliamentary sittings would be published on all public gallery tickets, visitor entry permits and other platforms," spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Thursday.

"Parliament will also strengthen security at sittings of the Houses of Parliament and committees to protect Members of Parliament and the public against unruly elements."

He said the issue was placed on the agenda after members of the public made threatening gestures at MPs during one of Wednesday's budget vote debates.

"Members of the Parliament Protection Services strived to bring the recalcitrant group to order while ensuring the business of the House was not interrupted.

"During the State of the Nation Address, a member of the public sprinkled a powdery substance which caused tearing eyes and coughing in the public gallery and the House."

READ: Mbete slams disruption of parliamentary committee

Earlier in May, Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama verbally attacked Joan Fubbs and threatened to physically assault chairperson Yunus Carrim during the joint public hearings on the transformation of the financial sector, Mothapo said.

"Parliament will be writing a letter of warning to Mr Mngxitama about his unacceptable conduct at the hearings, when he appeared to make a presentation."

"Parliament encourages active public participation and free exchange of diverse views. However, all participants, including the public, are expected to uphold the spirit of the Constitution and the rules of Parliament at all times."

He said the majority of members of the public visiting Parliament demonstrate good conduct and respect for the rules of the institution.

They will now take action against those who don't.

Read more on:    parliament  |  cape town  |  politics

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