The caucus of the Congress of the People withdrew itself from the State of the Nation proceedings immediately after the violent and forceful attack on and removal of the Caucus of the EFF.
We are shocked that the ruling party seems to have illegally installed a jamming device in parliament. This is so calamitous to our constitutional democracy that it warrants a investigation to determine the course of action.
Preliminary information suggests that the executive authority was part of the jamming of the signal thus grossly violating the constitutional prescript for the separation of powers.
Secondly, we were shocked that reports of the staff of parliament being trained in late night sessions to use force against members of parliament were proved accurate.
The Speaker, once again, failed to properly name who was being asked to leave the chamber and under which rule. To our utter dismay, she called in the security to take charge, as they saw fit. What followed shattered the already tarnished image of our parliament and tore to shreds the notion of ‘parliamentary privilege’.
Furthermore, by some prior instruction or the other, the cameras were focussed on the presiding officers during the manhandling of MPs in order to deliberately censor the use of violence to eject the EFF from parliament.
We were alarmed at the sight of those who entered parliament dressed in white shirts and black pants with guns in their holsters. They and their uniforms were unknown to us! If they were police in disguise, then the ruling party has taken a quick step towards transforming our constitutional democracy into a police FORCE state.
In our view, what unfolded in parliament during SONA was certainly not the democracy that we and our heroes fought for!
Article by Mosiuoa Lekota