Judgement sends out a strong message - Maimane


Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane has hailed the Western Cape High Court’s decision to prohibit the deployment of police in the National Assembly, as an “important victory for South Africa’s constitutional democracy” and that the independence of Parliament needs to be protected at all times.

His comments comes after Judge Andre le Grange earlier today ruled that section 11 of the Constitution, which stipulates that police can remove a member causing a disturbance in Parliament, was “constitutionally flawed” and that more effective measures are already in place to keep MP’s in check.

The party had lodged a complaint to have the rule declared unconstitutional shortly after the February 12th chaos when members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were forcibly removed moments into President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, after its Secretary General, Godrich Gardee, had enquired as to when Zuma is prepared to pay back a portion of the R246-million spend on upgrades at his private Nkandla home as per Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, Secure in Comfort.

Having criticised National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s decision to have security personal in the Chamber, the party walked out of The House after expressing dissatisfaction at the answer provided by co-preceding officer and National Council of Provinces Chairwoman, Thandi Modise.

“It is critical that Parliament remains a place for robust debate that is conducted freely within the rules of the House,” Maimane said in a statement.

“We now have the opportunity to spearhead the interests of South Africa and its people, without the threat of arrest and physical abuse by an agency of the Executive”.

He also added that the ruling has reaffirmed the party’s “fight for freedom inside the House” and that it sends out a warning for members who consider themselves to be above the constitution.

“We have seen the interests of the South African people sidelined in Parliament in order to protect a corrupt Executive from accountability.

“The judgment sends a message to the Speaker of the National Assembly that the Constitutional principle of separation of powers cannot be overruled to serve narrow political interests. Parliament must work to serve the people,” he said.


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