Probe finds no evidence of GBV, sexual harassment during EFF MPs' removal from Parliament

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Violence in Parliament.
Violence in Parliament.
  • There was no evidence of gender-based violence or sexual harassment after the removal of EFF MPs from Parliament during the budget debate in June.
  • This was a finding in a report into the chaos.
  • However, the report found that Parliamentary Protection Services' removal of the EFF MPs was characterised by violence on both sides.

There was no evidence of gender-based violence (GBV) and/or sexual harassment during the removal of EFF members from Parliament, according to a report compiled after an independent investigation into the fracas.

In a statement from Parliament, it emerged that speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, had appointed advocate Elizabeth Baloyi-Mere to probe allegations from EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu and counter-allegations from Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS) personnel.

"In her report, Adv Baloyi-Mere ruled out GBV and sexual harassment in the scuffles between MPs and the PPS officials during the forceful removal of the disruptive members from the House on 9 and 10 June," Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

READ | Parliament probes sexual assault claims by EFF MPs thrown out of chaotic sittings

However, the report contained a finding that the removal was characterised by violence on both sides. 

Mothapo added that the EFF MPs refused to comply with the instructions of the speaker or ignored the speaker when it was clear, from the rules of the National Assembly, that when members are requested to leave the Chamber they should do so, consistent with the conduct expected of them.

In addition, the report also contained a finding that the speaker tried to comply with each and every rule before she called for members to be removed. 

Although the investigation ruled out GBV and sexual harassment, Mapisa-Nqakula condemned any act of violence and assault that occurred during the scuffle.

"She also remains distressed by the unfortunate disruptive occurrences in the Chamber on both days, as these do not augur well for the image, decorum and prestige of Parliament in the eyes of the public," Mothapo said.

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