CAPE TOWN – Party chief whips on Monday met ahead of what is expected to be a tense debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Tuesday.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members of parliament (MPs) were forcibly ejected from the National Assembly chamber by police and security personnel after interrupting Zuma’s speech on Thursday.
Party leaders demanded Zuma answer questions about the multimillion rand upgrades at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
Opposition MPs from the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (Cope) and AgangSA then walked out in protest.
The DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen intended on raising the police’s behaviour during the meeting.
“So it’s very clear, there were only three members of that body that were actually belonging to the Parliamentary Protection Services. The remainder of them were all linked to the South African Police Service. Not only were the men in waiters uniforms but there were also men in black jackets who were carrying firearms. It’s extremely dangerous and totally unacceptable.”
The party is also considering going to court to prevent National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete from presiding over this week’s debates on the speech.
Parliament’s presiding officers are scheduled to answer questions tomorrow about the chaos that erupted during the Sona.
Mbete has asked the Secretary to Parliament to investigate the jamming of cellphone signals during the Sona on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the South African National Editors Forum has indicated it will go to court over the signal jamming debacle.
EFF AND ANC MEMBERS OPEN CASES AGAINST EACH OTHER
Eyewitness News has meanwhile learnt that two separate cases have been opened following a brawl between EFF members and ANC supporters on the West Rand.
A case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened by the EFF in Mogale City after three of the party’s members were severely beaten, allegedly by a group of people wearing ANC t-shirts.
Police are investigating claims that a fight broke out between a group of ruling party supporters and EFF members after the red berets finished a door to door campaign in West Rand yesterday afternoon.
The three EFF members were discharged from hospital early this morning.
Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale says a case of intimidation has subsequently been opened against the EFF.
“Investigators are trying to trace suspects who are known to them and once they have been arrested they will appear in court.”