Legal action over ‘broken’ Parliament’s security forces

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 Economic Freedom Fighters are violently removed from Parliament during the state of the nation address. Picture: News24
Economic Freedom Fighters are violently removed from Parliament during the state of the nation address. Picture: News24

It appears that legal action is on the cards following a chaotic start to the state of the nation address in Parliament on Thursday night.

The army and riot police were deployed, pepper spray was used in the Parliamentary chamber, and members of Parliament were physically assaulted and removed from the chamber.

“Tonight showed that such action is now essential ... to ensure that security forces are never used in Parliament again,” said Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, who walked out of Parliament after the Economic Freedom Fighters were violently forced from the house.

Congress of the People MP Willie Madisha was also unceremoniously ordered to leave.

“The violence in Parliament tonight does nothing for the millions of South Africans still living in poverty, and without hope. They must be disheartened and appalled at the events of this evening,” said Maimane.

“The violence and disorder witnessed this evening is the direct result of a corrupt political party clinging on to power by using fear tactics and intimidation.”

Maimane said that Parliament ought to be a place where the public could engage with issues facing the nation.

“It is deplorable that ordinary members of the public were pepper sprayed while attending this evening's sitting.”

He accused President Jacob Zuma and the ANC of planning the mayhem.

“Days before the state of the nation address, the Parliamentary precinct, the streets surrounding it, and the inner city were swamped with thousands of police officers, riot police and the military.”

He condemned the deployment of the army and riot police inside the precinct of Parliament.

“We must now take legal action to ensure that security forces are never used in Parliament again.”

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise confirmed the use of pepper spray in the chamber.

“It should not have been used in Parliament. We cannot allow it to happen again.”

She asked the secretary of Parliament to investigate the matter and report back as soon as possible.

Word cloud of President Jacob Zuma's speech

Full Speech: Zuma's 2017 state of the nation address by CityPress on Scribd

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