The EFF welcomes the Western Cape High Court judgement against police removal of Members of Parliament
12 May 2015
The EFF welcomes the Western Cape High court ruling that section 11 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act should not apply to Members of Parliament and therefore it was unlawful for Baleka Mbete to order police to remove EFF MPs from parliament chambers during the State of the Nations Address. The court gave parliament 12 months to amend this section of the Act in order to be consistent with the Constitution.
The EFF always argued that section 11 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act must be read alongside section 58(1)(b) of the Constitution which states that Members of Parliament, “are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for anything they have said in, produced before or submitted to the Assembly or any of its committees”.
On the occasion of the State of the Nation Address, when members of the EFF stood to ask President Zuma when is he going to pay back the money, the speaker Baleka Mbete called police, who were camouflaged as waiters in black and white clothes, to remove them. Today, the Western Cape High Court has yet again affirmed the fact that it is not the EFF which brings disorder in Parliament, but those who use any means necessary to protect an individual, in this instance Jacob Zuma.
In essence, those who render anarchy and disorder on parliament, who always bring it into disrepute are the ones who knowingly compromise the Constitution to protect certain individuals. The police were called to forcibly assault and remove EFF MPs simply to protect Jacob Zuma from being held accountable about the undue benefit he accorded himself in Nkandla.
The EFF believed strongly that a man who fails to account about the state of public funds used in his homestead, could not be trusted to give an account about the state of the nation. It is for that reason that EFF MPs stood during SONA to ask the president to deal with the matter of Nkandla before delivering the SONA, only to be met with police brutality.
This court decision demonstrates that EFF possesses a superior understanding of the law of the country and that its mechanisms to hold the executive accountable are well within the law. The EFF will be taking legal action against the Speaker following this court outcome to make sure that Parliament pays for removing the entire caucus of the EFF using the police during the SONA.
President Zuma must be rest assured that for as long as he does not answer the question adequately, it will always stalk him when he comes to parliament. There is no police force in the world that will be able to protect him from that because the Constitution of South Africa does not allow it. This means, even the Constitution anticipates that Zuma must provide a date and time to pay back the money and must never use police force to run away from giving this answer.
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, May 12 2015