NEWS & ANALYSIS

MP violently removed from Parliamentary sitting – John Steenhuisen

DA Chief Whip requests urgent meeting with NCOP Chairperson

DA requests urgent meeting with NCOP Chairperson after MP violently removed from Parliamentary sitting

7 June 2018

The Democratic Alliance will be writing to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, to request an urgent meeting after Cathlene Labuschagne, the Party’s leader in the NCOP, was violently assaulted while being unlawfully removed from a Parliamentary sitting yesterday, 6 June 2018, by Parliamentary Security Services.

The sitting, chaired by Masefako Dikgale, had devolved into complete chaos during the Policy Debate on the Budget Vote for Rural Development and Land Reform, largely due to the Presiding Officer’s incompetence. Labuschagne had raised a valid point of order as the Presiding Officer failed to execute her duty to maintain order in the sitting.

Instead of yielding to the DA’s call to maintain order, the Presiding Officer requested that the Parliamentary Security Services remove Labuschagne from the chamber in contravention of the Rules of the NCOP. Labuschagne was then physically forced from the chamber by members of the Parliamentary Security Services and was further assaulted by them on the way out.

It is an abuse of process and entirely unlawful for the Parliamentary Security Services to enter the NCOP chamber. Moreover, to do so in order to prevent a democratically elected Member of Parliament from executing her duties in service of the people of South Africa on an issue as critical as land reform is an indictment on the constitutional role of Parliament.

The DA is appalled by the gross abuse of Parliamentary procedure by a presiding officer and we hope that we can work together with the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces to ensure that the Presiding Officer in question is appropriately sanctioned for her conduct on the day. An assault on Members of Parliament is a direct assault on South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy - the DA will continue to fight for South Africans in Parliament, particularly on critical issues such as land reform.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, 7 June 2018