“It is deeply disturbing that parliamentary protection services, which are meant to be highly-trained former SAPS members, can be infiltrated by anyone with a white shirt and gym membership,” DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen laments.
The Chief Whip said the DA got reports that two of the white shirts in the National Assembly during this week’s question session were Julius Malema’s personal bodyguards posing as members of parliamentary protection services.
According to him, “close examination of video footage of Tuesday’s sitting shows what appears to be a man in a white shirt rush to Malema’s side during the EFF’s ejection from the NA and fight off other members of Parliament’s protection services, in an effort to protect him.
“Parliament is currently investigating these claims and currently formulating charges against the relevant culprits,” he disclosed.
Steenhuisen said distinguishing white shirts during the in-House scuffles that’s now frequent and a norm of the fifth Parliament is incredibly difficult.
“Repeatedly I have requested that the white shirts be provided with a distinct uniform and ID badges. However both the Speaker of Parliament and its Secretary have ignored my requests.
Perhaps now that their squad of goons may have been infiltrated with relative ease they will take my requests more seriously,” he said.
Steenhuisen said the DA will write to the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, to request for the details of Parliament’s investigation, and that the outcome be made public.
“It is important that we get the truth of this matter to ensure that any guilty culprits will be held accountable for their actions and possible violation(s) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act.”
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The Chief Whip said it’ll be clear the EFF went into Tuesday’s sitting with an explicit agenda to disrupt and ‘meet violence with violence’ as Malema stated earlier this week if the reports are verified.
“The EFF’s devious plot and destruction of parliamentary infrastructure demonstrated that they are clearly not a party that can be trusted to uphold the rule of law and take country forward, and deserve South Africa’s condemnation,” Steenhuisen stated.