Op­po­si­tion split over House mus­cle

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA may­i­bongwe.maqhina@inl.co.za

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties have wel­comed the Labour Court chal­lenge brought by 69 pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers against Par­lia­ment.

While the DA feared the court ac­tion might es­ca­late to an in­dus­trial ac­tion when Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma de­liv­ers his State of the Na­tion Ad­dress next month, the UDM wanted the court to rule in favour of the of­fi­cers.

Par­lia­ment has in the past been hauled be­fore courts, which ruled against it, and last year it was em­broiled in a pro­longed bat­tle with the work­ers, aligned to the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers Union.

City Press re­ported at the week­end that pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers took Par­lia­ment to the Labour Court for un­fair dis­crim­i­na­tion. This comes nearly two years af­ter Par­lia­ment hur­riedly hired of­fi­cers from the SAPS as “cham­ber sup­port of­fi­cers” to force­fully re­move dis­rup­tive MPs.

The of­fi­cers want the court to or­der Par­lia­ment to re­mu­ner­ate them and pro­vide them with the same terms and con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment as their coun­ter­parts, known as bounc­ers.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa ques­tioned the need for the bounc­ers, say­ing they were brought in to man­han­dle MPs. DA deputy chief whip Mike Wa­ters said the court ac­tion was an in­dict­ment of Par­lia­ment. “We don’t want more in­dus­trial ac­tion when the pres­i­dent talks to the na­tion,” he said.

EFF spokesper­son Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi said: “We are op­posed to the idea that they be in­te­grated in the rules.”

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

HEAVY-HANDED: EFF MPs clash with se­cu­rity of­fi­cials af­ter be­ing or­dered out of Par­lia­ment dur­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s State of the Na­tion Ad­dress in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

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