Police probe Parliament damage after EFF eviction

2016-05-18 14:00
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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What happens to Zuma when Parly police remove the EFF? Watch...

2016-05-18 10:07

All eyes were on the EFF in Parliament on Tuesday as protection officers forcibly removed the red party from their benches. What happens to the president during these altercations? Watch to find out...WATCH

Cape Town - Western Cape police were investigating a case of malicious damage to property on Wednesday after a charge was laid following the removal of the EFF from Parliament.

On Tuesday, Parliament said it had laid charges of damage to property in the wake of the EFF's forceful removal from the National Assembly.

"Following the removal of the members from the House, a crowd of members of the public from the gallery forced their way through the corridors. Violent scenes followed, resulting in incidents of assault on Protection Services staff and damage to property, a statement from the speaker's office said.

Western Cape police confirmed that a charge of damage to property was laid and that the circumstances were currently under investigation.

At the start of a question-and-answer session with President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, the Economic Freedom Fighters stood up to demand an explanation as to why Parliament had not instituted a disciplinary hearing against the president.

This was after a Constitutional Court judgment that Zuma and Parliament's actions over the Public Protector's report on upgrades to his Nkandla home were inconsistent with the Constitution.

Water bottles and helmets fly

When Speaker Baleka Mbete said the matter had already been dealt with, loud verbal exchanges between EFF MPs and Mbete followed. Mbete asked the EFF MPs to sit down so that the day's proceedings could get underway and dded that she would not be taking any more points of order from the EFF.

The EFF MPs objected to this, raising their hands defiantly and stood up to sing Senzeni na?, a mournful song associated with funerals of anti-apartheid activists and great catastrophe.

Parliament's protection officers descended on the opposition party to push them out of the chamber. Some of the MPs resisted and water bottles and helmets flew. At the same time a group of EFF supporters ran down from the public gallery to support their leaders. The whole group was pushed out of the building.

In the fray, a glass door at the entrance to the Old Assembly was cracked and a fire extinguisher was discharged.

The EFF MPs have been banned from the House and the precinct for five days.

Revision of rule on removal

After the sitting, members of Parliament's rules committee held a scheduled meeting to discuss draft amendments to the rules of the National Assembly.

Several MPs on both sides of the political divide expressed concern over proposed revisions to Rule 53A, which deals with the removal of a member from the Chamber.

Sub-section 10 of 53A proposes that security forces may be called in if an MP resists removal by Parliamentary Protection Services.

Some MPs felt there was a real risk of violence escalating in the chamber and that MPs should be protected, while others were wary of the Constitutional implications of involving security services in the House.

On Tuesday, riot police were present for about an hour outside the House as some EFF supporters protested at a gate.

Read more on:    eff  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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