Security personnel who forcefully removed the EFF from Parliament on Thursday had used pictures of the party’s MPs to practice their tactics, City Press reported on Sunday.
Pictures of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu and MPs Godrich Gardee and Reneilwe Mashabela were used during practice sessions in Pretoria, on the Cape Flats, and in the National Assembly.
The pictures were intended to help officers identify those they needed to remove once chaos erupted. The training took the form of a mock drill on removing people from the National Assembly.
“It was more about how to remove a person, how to disarm, and a bit of self-defence,” an unnamed parliamentary source told the newspaper.
Malema and all his MPs were removed from the National Assembly on
Thursday after they disrupted President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation speech. After they were thrown out, Democratic Alliance MPs walked out. The party was unhappy with Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise’s failure to explain whether it was police officers or parliamentary security who removed the EFF MPs from the National Assembly.
The DA argued that the use of police was unconstitutional as they fall under the executive arm of government and cannot interfere with the business of the legislature.
Zuma’s speech was also delayed by complaints from MPs and the media that the cellphone signal in the National Assembly had been jammed. The device was turned off before Zuma started speaking. SAPA