Ipid probes ejection of EFF from Parliament

2017-03-26 06:00
Members of the EFF leave the parliamentary chamber. Picture: Schalk van Zuydam/Pool/Reuters

Members of the EFF leave the parliamentary chamber. Picture: Schalk van Zuydam/Pool/Reuters

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has requested Parliament to furnish it with footage of the removal of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs from sittings in the legislature.

This is part of an investigation into whether police officers were among the parliamentary protection personnel who evicted EFF MPs from the state of the nation address (Sona), delivered by President Jacob Zuma on February 9.

This is the first time Parliament has come under scrutiny from a peripheral state institution, after the legislature dismissed complaints by opposition MPs.

On the night of Sona, EFF leader Julius Malema, rising on a point of order, claimed that there were 21 active police officers, dressed in Parliament’s security service uniforms, who would remove EFF MPs.

He called on the presiding officers to “comply with the law” and ensure that police officers were not allowed to move into the House and remove MPs that evening.

But his protestations were dismissed by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who said the House could not work on the basis of hearsay, suppositions and rumours.

In a subsequent sitting, Mbete said the circumstances that led to the physical removal of MPs had been referred to Parliament’s joint rules committee for consideration. She did not directly address the alleged presence of police during this occasion.

This week, Ipid confirmed that it was trying to establish the facts related to the matter, following a complaint made by the EFF last month.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said it wanted to establish whether police officers were involved and that, “if we confirm that they are police officers, Ipid has a mandate to investigate the alleged assault”.

“So, asking for footage is basically within the context of a complaint that has been lodged with Ipid – because the allegation is that some of these parliamentary protection service people are, in fact, police officers.”

Dlamini said Parliament was cooperating and had submitted information that had been requested initially, but that the EFF had this week brought further allegations of assault – including a request that the complaint also cover the removal of EFF members during last year’s Sona.

“We have asked for information, which we have received. We have asked for additional information, which includes the footage. They [Parliament] have indicated they will comply,” said Dlamini.

While Parliament’s Moloto Mothapo confirmed the Ipid inquiry, he added that “it was clarified that such claims were, in fact, baseless and cannot be supported by fact”.

The National Assembly passed a new rule in July 2015 which provided for disruptive MPs to be forcibly removed from the House.

The recruitment of police who had no parliamentary experience, at better terms and conditions to those of existing staff, created tensions within the protection services.

Read more on:    ipid  |  eff  |  parliament

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.