Wednesday, 18 May 2016

EFF must face criminal charges for clash in Parliament – ANC

Cape Town - The ANC wants Parliament to take legal action against EFF MPs following a clash between the party and protection services in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We urge Parliament to immediately press criminal charges against the EFF MPs for the assault of the security staff of Parliament and malicious damage to property,” spokesperson for the ANC Chief Whip’s office, Moloto Mothapo, said in a statement.

He said the Economic Freedom Fighters had threatened the sanctity of South Africa’s democracy and its constitutional institutions.

EFF MPs were kicked out of the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon after they insisted that Speaker Baleka Mbete not allow President Jacob Zuma to address the House. He first needed to be “rehabilitated” for breaking his oath of office and not respecting the Constitution, they demanded.
EFF must face criminal charges for clash in Parliament – ANC
When the security officers moved in to evict the EFF MPs, they were punched and slapped. A red hard hat and a walkie talkie flew across the Chamber floor. Bottles of water were thrown.

The MPs were pushed and carried out of the building. A window was broken.

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the EFF’s violent action was unacceptable and went beyond rules of engagement.

“Clearly their strategy and target was to physical harm President Zuma and ANC MPs,” Kodwa said.

He called on Parliament to ban hard hats, which he said had become a dangerous weapon. The EFF wanted to provoke the security officers to use maximum force against them, Kodwa said.

On Monday, the Western Cape High Court struck off the roll the EFF’s urgent application to have Mbete interdicted from evicting its MPs during Parliament’s question session with Zuma. It was dismissed on the basis that the matter was not urgent.

According to Parliament, the EFF also wanted to have the session postponed until Mbete had given the court an assurance that there would be no violence against any opposition party MPs for anything they said in the National Assembly.
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