Parliament set to adopt new rule on disruptions

Rule 53A allows for the Parliamentary Protection Services to physically remove unruly MPs from the chamber.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma speaks in Parliament. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly is expected to adopt a new rule to deal with disruptions in the house when it sits this afternoon.

The African National Congress (ANC) has taken a hard line on the issue, instructing its Members of Parliament (MPs) to ensure the rule is approved ahead of President Jacob Zuma's appearance in Parliament in a week's time.

After much wrangling this week over whether police officers could be seconded to the protection services as an interim measure, the ANC agreed to remove the provision which would allow for SAPS members to enter the chamber.

Rule 53A allows for the Parliamentary Protection Services to physically remove unruly MPs from the chamber.

All political parties, except for the Economic Freedom Fighters, agree something had to be done urgently to avoid the house degenerating into chaos again.

The Democratic Alliance's John Steenhuisen said, "We were all in agreement that the security services should never enter the chamber of Parliament unless it is in terms of section 4 where there's danger to life or property."

He has warned that if the ANC puts forward a report that is not in the spirit of what was discussed in the rules committee, the party will reject it.

Last month, Parliament was considering sanctions against defiant EFF MPs who caused Zuma's question and answer session to be abandoned without him uttering a single word.

Baleka Mbete adjourned the sitting after two and a half hours of disruption and chants of 'pay back the money'.