National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula must apologise and withdraw her decision to eject EFF MPs using security services or face court action. That’s the stern warning from EFF leader Julius Malema.
The party says it has also declared war against Mapisa-Nqakula.
Ugly scenes played out during the State of the National Address on Thursday evening, as the speaker called on Parliamentary Protection Services and later security services to eject EFF MPs.
But the EFF says the security services were already inside the house before they got permission from the speaker.
The party argues that this was unconstitutional.
“Only Parliamentary Protection Services will deal with the conduct of members in the chamber and not security services, as defined by Section 199 of the constitution. We made these changes to the rules because to allow defence force, police service and any intelligence into parliament chambers will grossly render Section 58 of the constitution null and void,” says Malema.
The EFF briefs the media following The State Of The Nation Address:
He says his party will also lodge a complaint with the rules committee against the speaker, as well as table a motion of no confidence against her.
“The speaker will get 48 hours upon receiving our letter to publicly withdraw and apologise. (She) should do so with the protection services, by distancing themselves from that act of the security services and they should do so in the form of a press conference. Failure to do so within 48 hours, we will approach the Constitutional Court directly.”
Mapisa-Nqakula has indicated that she will investigate. “I asked people politely to leave the house. Instead of leaving the house, they climbed the stage. It immediately threatens the security of the principal.”
Political parties expressed mixed reactions to the use of security forces.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says, “Prior to you issuing an instruction for the security services to enter the chamber, they had already entered the chamber armed with firearms, and this matter has already been a subject of litigation in the High Court of South Africa, which ruled that it was not permissible for members of the armed services to enter the chamber of parliament without your express permission.”
FF Plus leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald says, “The EFF made a mistake to get on this stage and make a threat to the president. I want to congratulate the presidential guard for what they did.”
IFP’s Narend Singh says, “You did say that you’ll investigate this matter, look at Hansard and everything else and I think we should leave it at that.”
The EFF maintains that it did not go overboard by climbing the stage to protest, nor did it pose any physical threat to the president.
The party claims parliament is the only place that the president requires no protection.