NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on July 2, 2014.
Two EFF MPLs were injured yesterday after being thrown out of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for wearing overalls.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Omphile Maotwe who siad Benjamin Disolwane and Mgcini Faku were “manhandled” by security when they were being removed from the legislature.
“Our chief whip (Faku) had his arm broken during the forced removal,” said Maotwe.
The members and six others were asked to leave the legislature when they came dressed in their red overalls.
The Speaker of the provincial legislature, Ntombi Megkwe said EFF MPLs were asked to “excuse themselves” after she explained to them that they were dressed inappropriately.
When they refused to do so, she invoked Legislatures Act 4 of 2004 which gives her the power to evict members of the legislature from the proceedings.
Parliamentary spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said the National Assembly operated separately from any other Legislature.
The National Assembly therefore allowed the EFF to attend the proceedings wearing their overalls.
Party insignia and symbols are allowed in Parliament, he said.
“Every legislature is empowered by law to impose its own rules,” said Jacobs.
Deputy provincial speaker Uhuru Moiloa said they could “not allow anarchy to happen” by allowing any members to behave inappropriately by not sticking to the Guateng legislature’s rules and regulations.
“The gimmicks of the EFF are an attempt to divert the legislature…Today was a waste of the nation’s time,” he said.
Mekgwe shared her thoughts on the EFF’s red overalls, saying “this is not a garden”.
She added that the legislature was a noble house and as such required appropriate dress code.
She said “minimal force” had to be used to remove the two members.
Mekgwe claimed she did not see any excessive force being used, she only saw one of the EFF members hitting a female security personnel with a “hot klap” during their eviction. She said this violence would be dealt with.
Mekgwe said during the two week orientation that all MPLs were taken through earlier this year, the standing rules outlined matters of conduct and participation in the legislature and the EFF members had failed to abide by those rules.
The EFF MPLs have not been expelled from legislature, however Mekgwe said the members would just need to dress appropriately to be allowed back into legislature in the coming days.
Maotwe said the provincial branch of the EFF would be consulting “head office and will take the matter from there”.
Late yesterday Mekgwe said the integrity commissioner would investigate the incident.
“We are referring the matter to the integrity commission. They will advise us on how to move forward,” Mekgwe said.
Gauteng police spokesperson Leutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he would respond to the allegations only once a case had been opened.