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Unruly MPs to be physically removed from Parliament

The National Assembly approved a rule that will allow for unruly MP to be physically ejected from the chamber.

Members of the Parliament look on as members of the Economic Freedom Fighters, 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 National Assembly has approved a tough new rule allowing for defiant Members of Parliament (MPs) who sow chaos to be physically removed from the chamber with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) standing alone in their rejection of it.

But the suspension on Thursday of Parliament's head of Protection Services and her deputy points to simmering tensions over the National Assembly's plans to prevent any further disruption of President Jacob Zuma's appearances in the house.

Zuma's set to come and answer MPs' questions next Thursday, when EFF leader Julius Malema's question about when he'll pay back the money for Nkandla officially on the order paper.

The EFF has linked the suspensions to Parliament's decision to draft in police to beef up the protection services

Chief whip Floyd Shivambu said, "already Parliament is training 25 members of the saps, those who came here to remove members of the EFF and to assault them physically. Already HR has been instructed to employ them"

Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says the Parliamentary Protection Services won't include members of the police.

"So never again will the members of the security services be here to remove the members of this chamber for things that they have said. We will have an independent Parliamentary Protection Service."

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.

Zelda Holtzman and her deputy Motlatsi Mokgatla have been suspended on full pay with immediate effect pending the outcome of a probe into what parliament says are other alleged security breaches.

Parliament announced the decision in a short statement on Thursday afternoon.

The suspensions have been implemented to enable the investigation of alleged security breaches and other issues affecting the Parliamentary Protection Services.

The legislature went on say that the breaches took place in an environment free of any perception of possible bias.

The investigation is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

They were sent packing as the ANC and other opposition parties voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new rule allowing Parliament's protection services to physically eject unruly MPs.

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