Former SAPS members confirmed as part of Parliament security

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 6, 2015

National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, has reportedly confirmed that a number of former South African Police Service (SAPS) officers will form part of the Parliamentary Protection Services during President Jacob Zuma’s questions and answers in Parliament this afternoon.

According to Eyewitness News, Mbete made the announcement to the National Assembly’s programming committee, saying that the members had resigned from the police in order to join Parliament. No exact number was mentioned.

“The candidates who met the requirements were offered employment and those who accepted have since resigned from the police service,” she remarked.

Yesterday, it was reported that a number of security staff had been practicing behind closed doors on removing unruly MP’s from the National Assembly, with rumours alleging them to be focusing on the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

In a tweet last night, party leader Julius Malema claimed that around 50 officers were receiving training inside the Parliamentary chamber on how to “assault EFF members of Parliament”. The party is expected to question Zuma on when he is going to pay back the money on security upgrades at his private Nkandla home, as per Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report.

It will also be Zuma’s first appearance in Parliament since June 18th, when EFF members threw proceedings into complete disarray after MP Makoti Khawula had enquired why no mention was made of Nkandla on the Parliamentary agenda.

A shouting match, involving Mbete, Malema, EFF National Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip, Stone Sizani then broke out with proceedings halted for over an hour as the various Chief Whips were summoned by Mbete.

Hours later, after the sitting had reconvened, EFF MP’s once again began chanting pay back the money relating to the rejection of the question up front. The sitting was called off without Zuma answering a single question.