Security upgrades are necessary - Parliament

2016-09-12 21:31
Police at Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

Police at Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Parliament on Monday evening said that security upgrades to its precinct were necessary for safety reasons and not because the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, "wants" them.

In a statement, Parliament said the improvements to security measures were aimed at ensuring the safety and security of members of Parliament, the public, media and guests of Parliament.

This, said Parliament, was necessary following acts of violence against its security personnel and destruction of public property during the removal of members of the EFF in the National Assembly in May.

According to the statement, the decision to make improvements to security measures comes after "universal condemnation" of the violence displayed at the House and a meeting between political parties who raised concerns over damage and injuries.

"They requested presiding officers and Secretary to Parliament to look into the matter."

According to Parliament, presiding officers at the time launched an investigation in order to determine whether there were any security weaknesses.

"In addition to providing the feedback, the presiding officers were also executing their responsibility in terms of the requirements of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act," the statement reads.

The act requires the Speaker and the Chairperson to exercise joint control and authority over the precincts on behalf of Parliament.

The events earlier this year "made it abundantly clear that Parliament does not have the luxury of reliance on reactive measures in dealing with security threats. It would be remiss and outright dangerous of the institution to do so".

The Office of Parliament said that any safety and security measures will be considered and implemented in line with the constitutional requirement of openness, transparency and accessibility.

Read more on:    baleka mbete  |  cape town  |  security  |  parliament

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