Mbete: I was forced to act when police entered Parly

The National Assembly Speaker said she has no regrets about what she did last week.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete addresses the media during a briefing held at Parliament on Friday 14 November 2014 following disruptions the previous day. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says she was forced to act last week when police entered Parliament.

She blames Members of Parliament (MPs) for breaking all the rules of protocol.

Armed police forcibly removed one Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP from the house a week ago after a chaotic session.

Mbete said she is not going to step down from her post.

In the quiet of her Parliamentary office and away from the hurly burly of the National Assembly, Mbete gave the impression of being firmly in charge and said she has no regrets about what she did a week ago.

"The outrageous announcements from honourable members had reached a level of breaking every single protocol, every single rule."

She said despite claims she has been seriously ill, she is not giving up either of her jobs.

"And those who thought I was dying, I have got news for them, I am on top of the world."

Mbete said claims she can't be speaker and African National Congress (ANC) chair at the same time are simply political.

PARLIAMENT GRINDS TO A HALT

Proceedings in the National Assembly are at a standstill after a row broke out over the ANC's decision to bring the report finding 20 EFF MPs guilty of misconduct before the house for adoption.

Opposition party MPs have objected that the ANC put the report on the programme without first consulting them.

The ANC earlier today declared the deal forged by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday as dead in the water.

Part of the deal was to shelve any disciplinary action against the EFF MPs until the political committee to be convened by Ramaphosa completed its work.

Julius Malema and his fellow EFF MPs face suspensions of up to 30 days without pay if the for disrupting the President's question and answer session in August.

Faced with opposition MPs' fierce objections, Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli called time out for the necessary consultations to take place.

Earlier there, were angry exchanges over the ANC's bid to change the programme to avoid any attempt by opposition MPs to stage another lengthy filibuster.

Apart from the report on the EFF MPs' misconduct there's important budget legislation that has to be passed today.

PARLIAMENTARY CHAOS

A scuffle erupted on 13 November when fully armed public order police entered the house late on Thursday night during a heated sitting.

Tempers flared when ANC MPs objected to motions brought by the opposition in an attempt to delay the tabling of a report on upgrades to Zuma's Nkandla home.

In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report and found that Zuma and his family "unduly benefited" from the upgrades at his KwaZulu-Natal home.

But earlier this month, the Nkandla ad-hoc committee officially absolved the president of any wrongdoing in relation to the massive overspending.

Leaders from 11 opposition parties met with Deputy President Cyrial Ramaphosa to initiate crisis talks at Tuynhuys on Tuesday.

The talks were aimed at putting Parliament back on track.

Ramaphosa announced he would chair a multi-party committee comprising Mbete and all parties to find solutions to tensions that have brought Parliament to near breaking point.

Last night, the ANC blamed the DA for the unravelling of the deal forged by Ramaphosa and opposition parties, which gave the EFF a temporary reprieve from any disciplinary action.

But the DA hit back saying there was never any such agreement and that it's all about getting Ramaphosa off the hook from angry MPs in his own party.