DA’s claims of Malema bodyguards in Parli untrue - Ndlozi

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 19, 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lashed out at accusations by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the bodyguards of its leader, Julius Malema, had been part of the Parliamentary Protection Services during Tuesday chaotic questions and answer session in Parliament.

In a statement on Thursday, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen alleged that a closer look at video footage of EFF MP’s being forcibly removed for trying to block President Jacob Zuma answering questions, showed a white-shirt clad official running to Malema’s side, before exchanging blows with another official in a black suit.

Steenhuisen went on to say that if the claims the party had received and video footage were indeed true, it would mean that the EFF came to Parliament with the sole aim of disrupting the day’s proceedings in line with comments made by Malema earlier this week.

“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 said.

“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”.

EFF National spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has however dismissed Steenhuisen’s claims as nothing but hypocrisy, saying the party had it on good authority that the men who removed Malema were in fact part of Zuma’s security.

He said visuals of the scuffle showed the bodyguards entering the Chamber after the Parliamentary Protection Services were called to remove them, at which point some became involved.

“The DA Chief Whip is on record in parliament to have immediately demanded that the Protection Services be given uniform so that they can be identified. Yet today, he claims to know the identities of those who came to assault EFF MPs,” Ndlozi said.

“They do not ask why Zuma’s bodyguards were allowed to circle him inside the chamber, or used to remove EFF MPs because the DA is now part of protecting Zuma. Their concern is how the EFF sought to protect itself, because they wanted the EFF MPs, in particular the CIC Julius Malema to be assaulted”.

Ndlozi further stated is was known well before the sitting that the EFF were against Zuma addressing them in light of the Constitutional Court in March, before remarking that they remain unapologetic for disrupting the sitting.

“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 Parliament Protection Services,” he said.

“All our MPs ever do is to speak truth to power. Yet for many times now, hooligans are unleashed on them to assault them in front of the whole world all in protection of a criminal called Jacob Zuma. We remain principled and we shall continue to be consistent in application of that principle”.