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DA lays charges for assault in Parliament

The DA has laid four charges of assault relating to the violence that broke out in the National Assembly on Thursday night.

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Three MPs laid charges against the police for assault, and a fourth MP has laid charges against Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, after he man-handled DA MP Juanita Terblanche.

Some of the DA members of Parliament were injured in the assault.

The Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004, is very clear of the circumstances under which the security services can enter Parliament.

This is done strictly under only two circumstances: either “with the permission of the Speaker or the Chairperson” (of the National Council of Provinces), or “when there is an immediate danger to the life or safety of any person or damage to any property.”

The Speaker of the House, Baleka Mbete, has until now avoided taking responsibility for what happened, and South Africans are therefore left to conclude that if this intrusion was done legally, it was because there was an “immediate danger to life or property”.

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The ANC has lost the plot in Parliament. A party that does not respect MPs, the Constitution or the institution of Parliament cannot govern legitimately.

South Africans must think very carefully about which party to vote for in 2019. The behaviour witnessed on Thursday would never have happened when Nelson Mandela was president.

It is time for change.

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