Mosiuoa Lekota says Parliament Act unconstitutional

2015-02-18 18:24
Mosiuoa Lekota (Photo: Sapa)

Mosiuoa Lekota (Photo: Sapa)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma should order a review of legislation allowing for the arrest or removal of people who create a disturbance in the National Assembly, Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said on Wednesday.

Speaking during the debate on the state-of-the-nation address, Lekota said section 11 of the Powers, Privileges, and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act was unconstitutional.

It allows Speaker Baleka Mbete to call for assistance from the country's security forces.

"It contradicts the Constitution. It is therefore null and void," Lekota said.

"The Constitution goes further to say who is responsible for the command of the security services, and in this case... since your are the head of the executive, no other arm of our government can take that authority of managing the security services."

Earlier on Wednesday, the DA announced it had filed papers in the Western Cape High Court asking for section 11 of the act to be struck down.

The party said it clashed with section 58 of the Constitution which guarantees MPs immunity from civil and criminal proceedings for "anything they have said in, produced before, or submitted to the Assembly or any one of its committees".

The DA's court action, to be heard on 5 March, and Lekota's comments, follow the removal of Economic Freedom Fighters MPs from the House during the state-of-the-nation address after Mbete invoked section 11 of the act.

During Wednesday's debate, DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard took aim at Zuma and Mbete over the deployment of police in the Chamber.

"The world watched the president chuckle in delight as the EFF were forcibly removed and I have no doubt he would have shed tears of mirth had our leader Helen Zille been manhandled, and if I was thrown on the floor and kicked in the face, breaking my jaw and nose, as happened to one EFF member," said Kohler-Barnard.

"The Speaker has seemingly taken over the role of the minister of police, ordering SAPS members to enter the chamber, protect the executive, and deal with those who disagreed with the shabby, shoddy manner in which our democracy is being treated by the Zuma regime."

Read more on:    mosiuoa lekota  |  parliament

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