Parliament says a police officer has laid assault charges against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Marshall Dlamini.
A video of Dlamini assaulting Warrant Officer Johan Carstens has gone viral on social media.
Parliamentary spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, says the presiding officers have called for a full investigation of the incident to enable them to take action.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise have expressed outrage and disappointment at Dlamini’s conduct.
They say, as a public representative, he is expected to display exemplary conduct to the rest of society.
Parliamentary spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, says the MP’s behaviour is appalling as Carstens was only carrying out his duties.
“He was doing his job to ensure that the area where the procession is going to leave is cordoned off so that it can pass and the rest of the members of Parliament can follow after. “
“So the confrontation that ensued as a result of him doing what he supposed to do is really unfortunate and is a matter that the presiding officers regard seriously and they have requested that all the facts around the matter be gathered so that they can determine an appropriate course of action.”
The EFF has come out in support of Dlamini.
The party says its members and leaders were singled out and blocked from leaving the house when other MPs were allowed to leave.
It says it has uncovered a plot by elite members of the police and right-wing groups to assassinate its leader, Julius Malema.
Veronica Mente says the alleged assassination attempt was planned to take place during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday and that the police officer had targeted Malema.
Even though the EFF insists they were the only members stopped, ACDP MP Steve Swart tells a different story.
Swart says he and other members were waiting behind the cordon for the procession to go through when EFF members forced their way past.
He says he saw the police officer stagger after being assaulted and that he had blood on his face.
“I saw the tall police officer step back from the blow and a few minutes later a trickle of blood down his face. There were a lot of people that were quite upset about that. I must say this incident was disgraceful and I believe it must be investigated.’
The EFF has been involved in a number of violent incidents around Parliament in the past. In addition to their members being forcibly removed from the house by Parliamentary security, other incidents include EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu accosting a journalist on the grounds of Parliament.
In 2018, EFF MP Nazier Paulsen attacked Andries Tlouamma of Agang.