Parly won’t shield JZ

But it will re­view its se­cu­rity pol­icy to avoid a re­peat of #Pay­back

CityPress - - News - CAIPHUS KGOSANA caiphus.kgosana@city­press.co.za

Par­lia­ment is re­view­ing its se­cu­rity pol­icy fol­low­ing the dis­rup­tion last week by Economic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) MPs, but there won’t be any amend­ment of its rules to pro­tect Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Par­lia­men­tary spokesper­son Luzuko Ja­cobs con­firmed to City Press that the se­cu­rity pol­icy was un­der re­view.

“Yes, it is. The re­view has been on­go­ing and the first leg is now com­plete. It’s an in­tri­cate process that re­lates to other se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus of state,” he said.

Ja­cobs, how­ever, could not go into de­tail about the na­ture of the re­view and how Par­lia­ment plans to beef up se­cu­rity, say­ing it was a sen­si­tive is­sue.

“All I can say is we need to en­sure that the [se­cu­rity] pol­icy is re­spon­sive, en­abling and rel­e­vant to the cir­cum­stances,” he said.

Par­lia­ment’s se­cu­rity pol­icy was drawn up in 2004. In terms of the pol­icy, se­cu­rity re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in Par­lia­ment are jointly shared by the Par­lia­men­tary Pro­tec­tion Ser­vices and the SA Po­lice Ser­vice.

The pro­tec­tion ser­vice deals with phys­i­cal se­cu­rity within the precinct, the pro­tec­tion of em­ploy­ees, tech­ni­cal sur­veil­lance and doc­u­ment se­cu­rity.

The po­lice are re­spon­si­ble for closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion and con­trol cen­tre elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing, ac­cess con­trol, perime­ter pro­tec­tion, cham­ber se­cu­rity, venue pro­tec­tion and park­ing con­trol.

Mem­bers’ con­duct is gov­erned by the Pow­ers, Priv­i­leges and Im­mu­ni­ties of Par­lia­ments and Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­tures Act.

It was agreed at a meet­ing of chief whips this week that the act and all other rules re­lat­ing to mem­bers’ con­duct were suf­fi­cient and did not need to be amended af­ter last week’s drama.

Those who were at the meet­ing said all par­ties agreed that, while in­ci­dents such as MPs bang­ing on ta­bles and other rowdy behaviour should be frowned upon, the ex­ist­ing rules are enough to deal with such in­ci­dents.

This agree­ment goes against de­mands by some in the ANC who wanted the rules of Par­lia­ment tight­ened to pro­tect the pres­i­dent and to grant the Speaker more power, in­clud­ing the power to fire mis­be­hav­ing MPs.

In terms of the rules, an MP who is flagged for mis­con­duct can be sus­pended with or with­out pay for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing 14 days.

Speaker Baleka Mbete has told the EFF to give rea­sons why its MPs should not be sus­pended. But EFF leader Julius Malema is go­ing to court to seek an in­ter­dict that will bar the Speaker from sus­pend­ing him and other EFF MPs.

ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani con­firmed that all par­ties had agreed the ex­ist­ing rules were suf­fi­cient. “There is noth­ing wrong with the rules, it’s the behaviour of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and MPs we are wor­ried about,” he said. “It’s the behaviour of in­di­vid­u­als; that’s why there’s no need for the Speaker to clamp down.”

Some of the chief whips were also said to have been crit­i­cal of the press con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by se­cu­rity clus­ter min­is­ters on Tues­day to dis­cuss how to im­prove se­cu­rity in Par­lia­ment.

Sizani said the DA had tried to raise this is­sue as a for­mal mat­ter for con­sid­er­a­tion, but it could not be dis­cussed be­cause the agenda for the chief whips’ forum was fi­nalised the week be­fore and that mat­ter was not on the agenda.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani: “It’s iis­re­spect­ing the in­sti­tu­tion of the pre­si­ient. Their fithe EFF’s] per­sonal ha­trei of the pre­si­ient is a proflem for them. Any­one who tar­gets one ini­ivi­iual, in­steai of

ANC poli­cies, will fail.” East­ern Cape PEC mem­fer Wil­liam Ngozi: “The pre­si­ient is … fol­low­ing par­lia­men­tary process ani there is noth­ing wrong with that.

In fact, he shouli fe com­me­niei for what he is io­ing fe­cause it shows he respects ani up­ho­lis the Con­sti­tu­tion of this coun­try … We will sup­port ani iefeni our pre­si­ient.”

ANC Women’s League trea­surer Hlengiwe Mkhize (re­fer­ring to the EFF’s ap­proach to Zuma’s ques­tion time in Par­lia­ment): “It has al­most feen like a kan­ga­roo court ... Once you fight in Par­lia­ment, it goes to

the town­ships. It is scary. It changei fo­cus from the is­sues they were rais­ing ani im­mei­iately they fe­came a threat to iemoc­racy.”

Jack Ni­chol­son: I used to think one of the great signs of se­cu­rity was the abil­ity to just walk away

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