The Congress of the People is gravely concerned and disturbed by the events that transpired during the State of the Nation Address in Parliament.
When COPE was formed in 2008 we our rallying cry was IN DEFENCE OF OUR CONSTITUTION. The events last night prove that although on paper we are a Constitutional democracy and our Constitution is meant to be our supreme law, in practice we are moving further and further away from that ideal goal for which many gave their youth and even lives.
The separation of powers of the three arms of state – the judiciary, executive and the legislature – is an important tenet of Constitutionalism. Any conduct that is inconsistent with this important principle or any part of our Constitution is unlawful and invalid.
Whether the EFF Members of Parliament were rightly expelled or not, is not for discussion now. The real important issue is, who booted them out? And why with such brute force and excessive violence?
It is for parliament to enforce its own rules – not the police, or unidentified security forces, who are part of, and accountable to, the executive.
COPE condemns the violation of the sanctum of Parliament by the use of the police and or other undescribed forces of darkness to brutally and violently remove members of the house, turning South Africa into a Police FORCE State.
Cope further condemns the illegal jamming of communication systems which is something that is typical of MILITARY states.
What makes the matter worse is the blatant obfuscation by the Speaker, the executive and the ruling party of what actually happened with the communications jamming in parliament.
Neither the Speaker nor members of the executive or the ruling party are prepared to be honest and to unequivocally provide answers as to:
• Who was responsible for the illegal jamming of communication systems and why?
• Who were the ‘White Shirts’ ordered in by the Speaker?
COPE remains convinced, as we were at our formation in 2008, that all concerned South Africans should pay more attention to the slow but sure erosion of the quality of our democracy and be prepared to act IN DEFENCE OF OUR CONSTITUTION.
Issued by COPE