A case of damage to property has been opened at the Cape Town police station by Parliament after a glass entrance door to parliament was shattered‚ furniture damaged and clothes torn following a brawl in the National Assembly when President Jacob Zuma was in attendance.
In a statement‚ Parliament said it “strongly condemns the acts of violence against Parliament’s security and destruction of public property during the eviction from the National Assembly of members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).”
“Following the removal of the members from the House‚ a crowd of members of the public from the gallery forced their way through the corridors. Violent scenes followed resulting in incidents of assault on Protection Services staff and damage to property.”
Parliament said it wanted law enforcement agencies to identify “the perpetrators of the violence and to deal swiftly with any offenders who come to Parliament to cause mayhem”.
The statement also quoted parliamentary rules stating that the EFF MPs evicted on Tuesday would be suspended for five working days.
“The Members are on automatic suspension and may not enter the precincts of Parliament until the suspension is completed.”
After the violence on Tuesday‚ EFF leader Julius Malema said it was not business as usual and Zuma will never see “peace” during the remainder of his term.
“These bouncers must know that if they give violence‚ we will respond with violence. We’re not scared‚ we’re debating in parliament. Anyone who manhandles us must know we’ve got the same capacity. No one has monopoly on violence. This parliament will never be the same … Zuma is not our president. The day he breached the constitution‚ that’s the day he kissed the office of president goodbye.
“The only thing that will bring peace here is when Zuma resigns as a sign of respect to constitutional court and constitution‚” said Malema.
The EFF caucus formed a laager and fought back hard inside the chamber and in the corridors inside the parliamentary building‚ singing the struggle song “Senzeni na?” – What have we done?
The TMG Parliamentary bureau reported that in the chamber‚ the EFF MPs punched the bouncers and threw both water bottles and water into the faces of the bouncers.
At least one bouncer had his shirt torn by an EFF MP.
At one point‚ a fire extinguisher was emptied on the bouncers inside the main parliamentary building‚ at the site of the door which was later shattered.
ANC MPs cheered and DA MPs looked on aghast as the bouncers removed the whole EFF caucus from the chamber‚ with especially loud cheers going up from ANC women MPs when the bouncers hit aged women MPs of the EFF.
The problems started when EFF deputy chief whip Hlengiwe Hlophe raised a point of order that Zuma not be allowed to speak in the chamber because the Constitutional Court had in effect found that he had broken his presidential oath to defend and uphold the Constitution by not implementing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial steps against him regarding paying back the money spent on upgrades to his private residence at Nkandla.
Mbete pointed out that the EFF had taken the matter to the Cape High Court and had lost.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said all parties had agreed that Zuma was to address the National Assembly. This was denied by the EFF.
Malema said Parliament and Zuma were getting ready to treat the Constitutional Court like they did the Public Protector‚ by ignoring it.
“You render the court useless. The president must be rehabilitated‚” said Malema.
He was backed up noisily by his caucus‚ and Mbete called in the bouncers‚ after which the violence followed.[Source: Times Live]