South Africa 16.3.2015 07:58 am

DA to challenge use of police in Parly

FILE PICTURE: EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured singing along with fellow party members outside parliament after being removed from the state of the nation address in Cape Town, 12 February 2015. Picture: Refilwe Modise

FILE PICTURE: EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured singing along with fellow party members outside parliament after being removed from the state of the nation address in Cape Town, 12 February 2015. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The DA was expected to appear in the Cape Town High Court on Monday to challenge the legislation which allows for the arrest and removal of people who create a disturbance in the National Assembly.

The DA filed papers in the Western Cape High Court following the removal of Economic Freedom Fighters MPs from the National Assembly during the state-of-the-nation address on February 12.

The DA wants the court to declare that section 11 of the Powers, Privileges, and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act does not apply to MPs and therefore cannot be invoked to allow security services to remove them from a sitting, House, or committee.

In the alternative, it seeks an order finding section 11 unconstitutional, reading in a phrase which makes clear the section does not apply to members, and striking out the phrase that allows the Speaker and Chairperson to order arrests.

The DA relied on section 58 of the Constitution, read with section 71 of the Constitution, which declares that members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces could not be arrested for anything they had said in, produced before, or submitted in the relevant house or any of its committees.

Should the court find section 11 to be constitutionally valid, the party seeks an order declaring that it only apply in circumstances when a person commits a disturbance which amounts to an offence for which they can be arrested.

 

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