Ex-cops to deal with disruptions in Parliament

Baleka Mbete confirmed that former police officers form part of the Parliamentary Protection Services.

MPs look on as EFF members clash with the Parliamentary Protection Services during the State of the Nation Address on 12 February, 2015

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says that former police officers have been recruited to serve as part of the Parliamentary Protection Services.

Mbete's just told the National Assembly's programming committee that the police members have resigned from the police service in order to join Parliament.

Mbete was responding to questions from the Democratic Alliances (DA) about whether police will be involved in dealing with any disruptions when President Jacob Zuma answers questions in the National Assembly today.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have vowed to put to the test a new rule that allows for MPs to be forcibly ejected if they disobey the presiding officers.

Opposition parties, except for the EFF, backed the new rule on the basis that only parliamentary staff be deployed.

Mbete says she's informed party leaders that police number among new staff recruited to help keep order in the house.

"The candidates who met the requirements were offered employment and those who accepted have since resigned from the police service".

The party's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says it doesn't matter who is deployed today and slammed the DA and other opposition parties who backed the new rule allowing for MPs to be physically removed

"It's forceful removal, you've voted for it, you've agreed with it, let's go to the house today and let's test that rule."

Today's sitting starts at 2pm.