The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) agitates against the move to hand Parliament bouncers additional income as “danger pay” saying it’s uncool to waste tax payers money on professional hooligans.
Julius Malema’s party in a statement, condemned the decision by the Speaker of National Assembly to pay parliament bouncers extra R400 for the dangers they are exposed to at work
To the Fighters, the Speaker, Baleka Mbete is simply paying her professional hooligans to remove members of parliament from the chamber and to do so as dangerous work.
Specifying that they’ve always disagreed with the “idea that there must be a unit whose job is to remove MPs from the chamber for the things that they say, the Fighters contended that “what these professional hooligans do and exist for in parliament violates Section 58 1(b) of the constitution.”
The section of the constitution EFF said, highlighted that “…members of the National Assembly:
a. Have freedom of speech in the Assembly and in its committees, subject to its rules and orders; and
b. Are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for:
i. Anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the Assembly or any of its committees.”
EFF buttressed that the essence of the above provision in the constitution is to guarantee freedom of speech, freedom from fear of intimidation, arrest or any violence that may lead to MPs not speaking their minds.
“By paying people to come and remove MPs for things that they say as “dangerous work” creates a legitimate basis for fear, and thus, speech can no longer be considered to be free in parliament.
“Mbete is willing to take tax payers money and pamper the white shirts for assaulting MPs.
“In the process, no care is given whatsoever to the injury of MPs, EFF women in particular who have been assaulted at the hands of Mbete’s professional hooligans,” stated the Fighters.
Above all, the party asserted that the development has again shown that SA parliament is willing to do everything, including compensating violence, to suppress speech.
“Mbete has created a situation where there is more freedom of speech outside parliament, in places like taxi-ranks, than there is inside parliament,” EFF added.