Security glitches rife at Parliamentary village in Acacia Park

It’s a home away from home for many MPs, but after at least two incidents, parliamentarians are worried.

FILE: The village is home away from home for many MPs. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Security at the parliamentary village in Acacia Park has been tested in the wake of at least two incidents that have left Members of Parliament (MPs) questioning their safety.

Three men attempted to break into a Democratic Alliance (DA) MP's home last night.

The incident comes a little over two months after a female Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) parliamentarian awoke to find two men had broken into her house.

It's a 'home away from home' for many MPs, but after at least two incidents this year, parliamentarians are raising the alarm bells.

On 5 March, IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe awoke in the early hours of the morning to find two men inside her home.

"When I screamed at them first they showed me that they had a screw driver and a torch, I didn't know what to do next and I screamed again. When I screamed again they started to move out of my kitchen."

Armed with screw drivers, the men fled with several of her belongings.

DA MP Andrew Whitfield was also at home when men tried, but failed, to break in last night.

His colleague in the DA, Dianne Kohler-Barnard raised the issue during a debate on the Police Budget Vote today.

"The last time they caught someone stealing things from one of our MPs, they found out it was an ANC MP's son."

She says police officers stationed in Acacia Park do not have vehicles at their disposal, which means they cannot respond to incidents quickly.

Kohler-Barnard says she also discovered that her alarm system had been disconnected because the security company guarding the area had been fired, without her being notified.

National Council of Provinces (NCOP) member, Elza van Lingen's home was also burgled in June last year.

She says a washing machine and tumble dryer were stolen.

Western Cape police officials have failed to respond to questions about the incidents.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, who was in Parliament today for the budget vote presentation, said police officers were monitoring access at Acacia Park.

She did not have specific details about the incidents.

The Department of Public Works is responsible for maintenance and operations at parliamentary villages in Cape Town.