MPs to finalise Parly disruptions debate tomorrow

Parliament says it doesn’t have the capacity to effectively manage disruptive behaviour in the house.

FILE: Chaos reigned in the National Assembly on 13 November 2014. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) are expected to meet tomorrow to finalise how Parliament deals with disruptions.

But there is a row brewing over reports that police officers have been brought in to beef up Parliament's security personnel.

Parliament's secretary Gengezi Mgidlana has refused to confirm whether police officers have already been seconded to the unit.

The majority of political parties in the legislature have agreed that the Parliamentary Protection Services can physically remove members who disrupt proceedings in the National Assembly.

But the Economic Freedom Fighters says MPs should not be arbitrarily removed for the things they say in the house, at the behest of the presiding officers.

The Democratic Alliance's John Steenhuisen says the secondment of police officers to Parliament's Protection Services is problematic because it violates the principle of separation of powers.

"What we need is an independent body of security personnel who report to the Speaker and are accountable to multi-party committee."

The Inkatha Freedom Party's Narend Singh agrees police officers should not be brought in.

"Members who are holding Saps reign should not be on that particular group of protection officers."

Parliament says it doesn't have the capacity to effectively manage disruptive behaviour in the House.

It says any official who is seconded will effectively become a Member of Parliament's staff.