DA heads to court over 'securitisation and militarisation of Parliament'

2017-02-10 12:55
Mmusi Maimane (Beeld)

Mmusi Maimane (Beeld)

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Punches thrown, bricks fly as Malema declares 'we won't allow this'

2017-02-09 22:02

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses the media after the EFF were forcibly removed from the National Assembly. We also hear from DA leader Mmusi Maimane after the DA walked out before president Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance is heading to court in a bid to have the deployment of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members for non-ceremonial purposes declared unconstitutional.

A number of soldiers were seen around Parliament on Thursday during President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA) before violence broke out in the National Assembly. The president authorised their deployment on Tuesday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday that the party had instructed its lawyers to file an application in the Western Cape High Court seeking the declaration.

This was to ensure the "gradual securitisation and militarisation of Parliament is halted once and for all".

"Our court action is to ensure the integrity of Parliament is restored, and that we can make the work of Parliament about the people of South Africa once more. It ought to be an institution in which we can fight for the poor and the excluded. And an institution which vigorously holds power to account," Maimane said.

The DA's James Selfe said there was evidence that some of the people who had been deployed inside the National Assembly to eject the EFF were members of the SAPS.

'Creeping militarisation'

"That would be in violation of a previous court case that we won. If that is the case, then there is serious contempt of court which occurred last night," he said.

He said it came to the party's attention that there had been armed military police inside the precinct, which they felt was in violation of the law.

"We want the court to hold those responsible for that deployment accountable for allowing such troops on the precinct."

Selfe said something had gone seriously wrong during the State of the Nation Address.

He said a line had to be drawn to address "the subject of creeping militarisation of the sort last seen during the infamous reign of PW Botha".

"We take this matter very seriously."

The DA's affidavit, filed in the Western Cape High Court, only included some aspects of their concerns of what had happened during SONA, Selfe said.

The DA had reserved the right to supplement it should other matters come to their attention, Selfe said.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town  |  sona 2017

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