Parliament to proceed with hearing on fracas between EFF's Nazier Paulsen and DA MPs

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The EFF's Mogamad Nazier Paulsen.
The EFF's Mogamad Nazier Paulsen.
Photo by Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Adrian de Kock
  • Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee is proceeding with a hearing on an altercation between an EFF MP and DA MPs.
  • During a National Assembly sitting in March, EFF MP Nazier Paulsen and ex-DA MP Phumzile van Damme were kicked out of a sitting as tension simmered.
  • While the parties hurled several insults at each other, Van Damme claimed Paulsen threatened to beat her up.

Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee has agreed to proceed with a hearing on a fracas between EFF MP Nazier Paulsen and DA MPs in the National Assembly in March.

On Thursday, Parliament's legal advisors told the committee on Thursday there was sufficient prima facie evidence against Paulsen to sustain a charge of threatened assault.

During a National Assembly sitting in March, Paulsen became embroiled in an alternation in which he told then DA MP Phumzile van Damme to go back to Swaziland and told the DA's Natasha Mazzone to go back to Italy.

READ | WATCH | EFF in tense stand-off with Pretoria residents, Afrikaner group at old age home

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli kicked Paulsen out of the sitting amid the tension. As Paulsen left, Van Damme waved at him and Tsenoli warned her not to be provocative. He could be seen pointing in the direction of Van Damme.

Van Damme was later also ordered to leave and was accompanied by two male DA MPs after Paulsen allegedly threatened to deal with her outside the House.

In Thursday's committee meeting, EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi accused the ANC of protecting white privilege because the committee failed to scrutinise the behaviour of the DA's MPs.

He also said Paulsen had received his punishment when he was ordered the leave the chambers.

"Who did Nazier threaten?" Ndlozi shouted to the dismay of other committee members.

Committee chairperson Philemon Mapulane asked for Ndlozi to be removed from the virtual meeting.

Ndlozi then responded: "If we are all vaccinated, we should all meet in Parliament. I want to see this thing of kicking people out. I want to see it. If we are vaccinated, let's meet physically in Parliament. Not virtually, so that we can see this power you have of kicking out people."

Mapulane questioned why Ndlozi was behaving in a disruptive manner, to which he replied: "[Because of] injustice and white privilege."

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ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said MPs were empowered by the rules to write to the speaker where a ruling aggrieved them.

"It is on that basis that we are seated with this matter. A disciplinary proceeding has two outcomes, either a guilty or not guilty outcome. So it is the responsibility of this committee to probe a case that is referred to it. This is where we are. We cannot be told by one member of this committee that it should not deal with the matter," she said.

Immediately after Dlakude made her point, Ndlozi responded: "That is a very dumb submission. I don't think honourable Dlakude is dum…hayi but that is a very unfortunate submission," he said. 

Maphulane said the committee would appoint an initiator to start the hearing proceedings.

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