Protection officers suspension not linked to EFF burglary

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the suspension of Parliament’s head of security services is not linked to their leader’s office burglary case.

The party said head of Parliamentary Protection Services, Zelda Holtzman, and her deputy, Motlatsi Mokgatla, have been put on suspension because they refused to integrate members of the SAPS into parliament security.

The pair was suspended on Thursday, a day after allegations that Julius Malema’s parliamentary office was burgled.

“Holtzman and Mokgatla have been put under suspension because they could not agree to integrating hand-picked SAPS members into parliament security without due process. In fact, they argued that existing parliamentary security is sufficient and that there is no need to hire more people, let alone the police.

“Parliament wanted them to integrate 25 members of the SAPS that were used to assault EFF members during the State of the Nation Address this year,” said a statement issued by the EFF on Friday.

EFF said Holtzman and Mokgatla ‘come from long years of struggle, UDF and MK respectively and are therefore not easily manipulable into doing wrong things’.

“They stood their ground as dictated by their conscience and the law and this is the reason they are being victimised through suspensions.

The EFF has laid a criminal charge with police in Cape Town over the burglary incident and has written to the Speaker of Parliament. It claims confidential files containing information about the party were stolen from Malema’s office.

The ANC on Wednesday dismissed the claims as ”stupid and not worthy of comment” and a publicity stunt.