Ramaphosa holds his silence on Sona signal jamming

Cyril Ramaphosa and security cluster ministers were in the National Assembly to answer MPs questions.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties attempts to get answers from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and State Security Minister David Mahlobo on the signal jamming and the use of police to forcibly eject the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) came to nothing on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa and security cluster ministers were in the National Assembly to answer MPs questions.

A number of the questions focused on the events of 12 February, when President Jacob Zuma delivered his address after an unprecedented protest over blocked cellphone signals and the ejection of the EFF's entire caucus.

An appeal was made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen.

"Madam chair, I must implore you to please not allow the executive to put on the shroud of the subjudice rule in an effort to deflect a tough political questions that they need to answer in this house."

Ramaphosa told MPs he wanted to answer their questions.

"But I am, as I said, constrained by the fact that this matter has come before court."

Mahlobo dismissed suggestions he should resign, repeating that the signal jamming was an error.

"There was no executive authority or a political decision."

Mahlobo took the same route as Ramaphosa, saying he could not give details while the matter was before the courts.

The DA is heading to court today to challenge legislation which allows for the arrest or removal of people who create a disturbance in the National Assembly.

The party has approached the Western Cape High Court to challenge the constitutionality of a section of the Powers Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act.

In February, EFF MPs disrupted Zuma once he took the podium and asked him when he would be paying back the money spent on his Nkandla home.

A debate started between EFF leader Julius Malema and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who then asked Malema and the EFF to leave the chamber.

A group of men in white shirts and black pants entered the room and removed them with force.

The EFF then retreated into their Parliamentary offices to give statements to police.