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Zuma's Q&A could turn ugly

Parliament is bracing itself for what could be a violent showdown when Jacob Zuma answers MPs questions.

President Jacob Zuma during his previous question and answer session in the National Assembly on Wednesday 11 March 2015: Picture: Screengrab/YouTube

CAPE TOWN - With confusion over new security regulations and defiant words from Julius Malema, Parliament is bracing itself for what could be a violent showdown when President Jacob Zuma appears in the National Assembly this afternoon.

He's expected to answer questions from opposition parties one of which will be fired by Malema who will ask Zuma when he plans to pay back some of the money spent on upgrades at his Nkandla home.

Tensions are running high over whether current or former members of the police including its Public Order Policing (Pop) Unit, have been drafted to take action today if necessary.

Malema's question about whether Zuma will pay back the money as directed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's remedial action over the upgrades to his Nkandla home, is the last of six questions on the order paper.

A new rule allowing for the physical removal of MP's who defy the speaker's orders is in place, but it stipulates only parliamentary protection service members and not police, may enter the chamber.

EFF READY

The jamming of cellphone signals and the forceful removal of the entire EFF caucus sparked an outcry and marked the lowest point so far in South Africa's democratic Parliament.

The EFF claims that police have been drafted in to impose order.

The party says their ranks have been strengthened by police officers and that some of them were among the so-called white shirts who hauled EFF MPs out of the chamber during the fracas that erupted during the State of the Nation address.

MPS NEED CLARITY

Opposition MPs say a meeting of Parliament's oversight authority yesterday was adjourned before could it get answers.

Freedom Front plus chief whip Corne Mulder says they've been left with no option.

"Because we didn't get any answers it leaves us with no alternative. If there are incidents then we will have to repeat those questions in the house."

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said they needed clarity on the matter.

"It's essential we have clarity on this before that rule is actually applied, that we know exactly who the parliamentary protection services are."

The ANC's Molato Motapo said misconduct will not be tolerated.

"The Parliamentary Protection Services will drag out whoever misbehaves even if they're are kicking and screaming, out of the precinct of Parliament."

In terms of a new rule , MPs who disobey the speaker and are physically removed, face an automatic five-day suspension from Parliament.

Eyewitness News saw individuals being briefed in the National Assembly last night.

The EFF says this was a dress rehearsal for today.