1. The EFF “interrupted” the speech of the President. Interruption is not disruption of anything.
2. The interruption was to seek a ruling from the Speaker that the President would be required to include in his speech a specific undertaking.
3. There was nothing, in itself wrong, with the EFF seeking a ruling from the Speaker. Rulings are sought all the time. The issue was not frivolous or vexatious. It was extremely important with thousands of citizens having an interest in the outcome. That is what Parliament is there for, i.e to deal with the interests of the citizens.
4. The Speaker was then constrained to accede to the request or deny it, i.e,
a) “I will allow the request to be put to the President”; OR
b) “I will not allow the request to be put to the President”.
5. If she was disallowing the request, which she was, she needed to explain why when specifically asked to do so on any number of occasions.
6. The request was repeatedly made in terms of a specific Rule of Parliament, i.e Rule 14. It was either valid … or invalid .. in terms thereof.
7. At no stage did either of the two (2) Speakers provide ANY reason as to why an application being made in terms of the Rules was being denied …. except to say “well, this is not the occasion for questions … ”
8. In the circumstances the EFF was entitled to insist that the Speakers act in terms of the Rules and cite the Rule(s) that supported the denial.
9. The reason for this is very, very important and fundamental. and Julius Malema put his finger on it when he said “Madame Speker you cannot suspend the Rules Of Parliament.”
10. Any decision that an adjudicator makes is required to be supported by stated or identifiable reason(s) if it is not to be ARBITRARY.
11. Arbitrary decisions by those who have power are the first enemy of Justice in all its components. It is what despots and tyrants do.
12. That is why Judges and Judicial Officers are required to always provide reasons for their decisions.
13. Parliament was then disrupted by the unconstitutional assaults and physical removal of Members of Parliament on the orders of the Speakers. Manhandling of human beings without consent is assault.
The above is the reality regardless on which side you may be on.
The Executive can never have a right to use ITS armed forces to assault MPs in Parliament.
This is a gross abrogation and repudiation of what is known as the Separation of Powers in a constitutional democracy.
By Judge Chris Greenland