No police in parliament ruling a victory for democracy - Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says judgment sends a message to Speaker Baleka Mbete not to trample over separation of powers

Police in Parliament judgment a victory for democracy

12 May 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is elated by the victory in the Western Cape High Court this morning. The court ruled that the forced removal and arrest of Members of Parliament by police is unconstitutional.

This is an important victory for South Africa’s constitutional democracy. Parliament is the voice of the people and its independence must be protected at all times.

Over the past year, however, we have seen the interests of the South African people sidelined in Parliament in order to protect a corrupt Executive from accountability. 

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. The DA’s fight for freedom, fairness and opportunity inside the Houses of Parliament has been reaffirmed by this judgment.

It is critical that Parliament remains a place for robust debate that is conducted freely within the rules of the House.

The judgment also 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.

The DA will continue the fight to ensure that our country’s constitutional democracy remains intact, and that the interests of the people are always at the forefront of parliamentary affairs.

Statement issued by DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, May 12 2015