DA threatens court action to have Mbete removed

2017-02-09 21:51
Powder left in Parliament. (Paul Herman, News24)

Powder left in Parliament. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The DA has threatened to go to court on Friday after a powdery substance with effects similar to that of tear gas was used inside the National Assembly.

The party said it will ask the court to review the actions of the government and speaker Baleka Mbete, after police officers and the army were deployed inside the parliamentary precinct.

Thandi Modise apologised for breached security after the DA alleged tear gas but says it was pepper spray. It should not have happened she said.

"The ANC is plunging us into a constitutional crisis," DA leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters after walking out of the assembly.

Maimane said they also want speaker Mbete to go, for protecting Zuma.

"We must go to court to remove Baleka Mbete because she has no clue on the Constitution. The police can't be here, I was happy for Zuma to speak and as the speaker she said the army must come in; the police must come in, she has no clue," Maimane said.

There was more chaos outside parliament after EFF members were kicked out and the Democratic Alliance walked out of the National Assembly during President Jacob Zuma's tenth national address.

The EFF MP's emerged from the assembly kicking and screaming after facing off with parliamentary security services.

EFF leader Julius Malema also accused the ANC of plunging the country into constitutional crisis.

''[The] ANC suspended the Constitution, [Its's the] first time we see police and soldiers intimidating members of Parliament," Malema told reporters after they were kicked out.

Parliament saw the highest deployment of security officials including police in and around of Parliament. Zuma announced on Tuesday that 441 soldiers will be deployed to assist the police in law and order.

Despite assurances by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that the army would only be deployed in Parliament if there was a "calamity",  members dressed in army uniform clearly marked military police armed with rifles were seen within the precinct.

Earlier there was also confrontation between members of the media and riot police. Scores of riot police who had been blocking the road leading to Plein Street from Parliament moved into the precinct.

They blocked the road, preventing journalists from accessing the area where outside broadcast vans and make shift studios were erected.  At one point journalists shouted "Let us through."

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  thandi modise  |  baleka mbete  |  parliament  |  sona 2017

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