Parliament’s use of cops on MPs could land up in ConCourt

The DA said it was confident it was able to convince judges that police should not be allowed to arrest MPs.

MPs look on as members of the EFF, wearing red uniforms, clash with security forces during South African President's State of the Nation address in Cape Town on 12 February, 2015.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said its legal challenge over the use of police to clamp down on disruptive Members of Parliament (MPs) could go all the way to the Constitutional Court.

The party added that it was "reasonably confident" it was on Monday able to convince a full bench of Western Cape High Court judges that police should not be allowed to remove or arrest MPs for the things they say in Parliament.

It comes after police dressed in plain clothes dragged Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs out of the National Assembly chamber for interrupting President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) last month.

EFF MPs repeatedly asked Zuma when he intended on repaying money spent on upgrading his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The party's James Selfe said, "What they cannot do is that they cannot come into the Parliamentary precinct to remove members who are exercising their freedom of speech and action in terms of section 58 or 71 of the Constitution."

The DA on Monday argued in court that section 11 of the Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act was constitutionally flawed.

The party said it violated privileges MPs had against arrest.