Parliament, Thursday 10 February 2017 – Eight officials of the Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS) injured while escorting some Members of Parliament out of the chamber, are receiving medical and counselling services. The officials were beaten with plastics hats, bricks and punched.
The Presiding Officers, Speaker Baleka Mbete of the National Assembly and Chairperson Thandi Modise of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), directed the Secretary to Parliament (STP) to conduct an investigation. The Secretary to Parliament, Mr Gengezi Mgidlana, has established an inter-divisional committee to investigate various allegations surrounding the incidents that took place on the night of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament – 9 February. The STP is expected to table a report early next week to the Presiding Officers for a decision on the course of action Parliament will take.
The allegations of brutality levelled at PPS officials are unfair, unfounded and baseless.
Above footage shown on national Television Stations, clearly indicates that, these officials were brutally assaulted when they were merely doing their work of removing some Members of Parliament (MPs) as instructed by the Presiding Officers. They have done their job successfully, in-spite of the difficult conditions created by some of the MPs. Equally so, allegations that the PPS has any weaponry such as cable ties, injections or any other equipment are false.
In the end, the Presiding Officers restored order and the President completed his address to the nation. The SONA will be debated on 14-15 February, with the President’s reply to the debate scheduled for 16 February 2017.