The ANC does not want to see anyone dying in Parliament, or blood to be spilled, the party said on Thursday.
The party has called for more stringent security in Parliament, following a violent scuffle between EFF MPs and Parliamentary Protection Services as the EFF was being removed from the chamber on Tuesday.
The ANC and DA have accused the EFF of using leader Julius Malema’s bodyguards to fight the Parliamentary Protection Services personnel.
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu called for an investigation into the incident on Thursday.
Mthembu said Malema’s bodyguards were seen on video protecting him and fighting protection officers.
“Our sources are quite convinced that they were his bodyguards. The type of thuggery witnessed this week is unprecedented in the history of this institution,” he said at a press conference in Parliament.
He said the time had come for not only Parliament but society to draw the line, and shun and isolate “these characters”.
“We have been made aware that certain EFF MPs bags were stuffed with heavy objects such as bricks to use as weapons against the security staff of Parliament.”
‘We don’t want to see anyone dying here’
Mthembu called for criminal charges to be laid against the EFF MPs, following the damage to property.
He said MPs were not expected to have bodyguards in Parliament.
“We would not like to see anyone dying here,” he said.
ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said they were not happy with what had happened.
“We don’t want blood in this house,” she said.
She said they had tried all possible means to interact with the EFF.
DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said they had received reports that two of Malema’s bodyguards had posed as the ‘white shirts’.
“If true it is clear that the EFF went into Tuesday’s sitting with an explicit agenda to disrupt the day’s programme and ‘meet violence with violence’ as the EFF leader stated earlier this week,” he said.
The EFF, however, said on Thursday the two men who came to remove Malema were not members of the protection service, but Zuma’s bodyguards.
EFF proud of resistance
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they were the first to question the authenticity of the protection services.
“We are proud of our resistance because we believe in our constitutional right to self-defence.
“It has now become a matter of dignity for the men and women of the EFF, many of whom have homes and children, to defend themselves from [Parliamentary Protection Services],” he said.
Ndlozi questioned why parties were concerned about how the EFF sought to protect itself, saying “they wanted the EFF MPs, in particular the CIC Julius Malema, to be assaulted”.[Source: News24]