Security cluster defends Sona security measures

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula insisted there was never any intention to attack EFF MPs.

FILE: An EFF Member of Parliament is being escorted out of Parliament 12 February 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Security cluster ministers have defended the extensive security measures put in place for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) last week.

They told journalists in Parliament that the actions taken were within the law and justified by risk assessments.

This follows the forced removal of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) from the house during Sona on Thursday.

Watch: New footage of EFF removal. Footage courtesy of PowerFM.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said there was never any intention to attack EFF MPs.

"The intention was not to attack but simply to remove people who were refusing to leave the National Assembly."

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was asked why the men involved in removing the EFF wore white shirts and black pants instead of uniforms.

"The decision was an operational one. As and when police have a warrant to search your house, either we'll pitch up in plain clothes or uniform."

Meanwhile, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said cellphone signals were not jammed and insisted they were disrupted due to a device not being switched off properly.

"The leadership of the executive never issued a political or executive decision to interfere with the flow of information."