BLF members may face criminal charges following Parly fracas

African National Congress Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says Parliament can’t be a playground for criminals and thugs.

FILE: An altercation broke out between Black First Land First head Andile Mngxitama and Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Yunus Carrim during public hearings on economic transformation on 3 May 2017. Picture: Twitter/@DavidMaynier

CAPE TOWN – Members of the Black First Land First (BLF) movement may face criminal charges arising from the fracas that erupted in a Parliamentary committee meeting last week.

BLF convener Andile Mngxitama and Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Yunus Carrim nearly came to blows during hearings on the transformation of the financial sector.

Carrim ordered the BLF representatives to leave the meeting after Mngxitama referred to his co-chair, Joan Fubbs, as fascist.

Mngxitama is a former Economic Freedom Fighters Member of Parliament.

The National Assembly’s programming committee was given a report on the incident when it met on Thursday morning.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick read out the report:

“The BLF then started an altercation by wanting to physically assault the honourable Carrim, as well as those who came to defuse the situation. A number of BLF members in the gallery then rushed over and joined in this fracas…”

African National Congress Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says Parliament can’t be a playground for criminals and thugs.

“In fact, Parliament must also look at whether we cannot also rely on our criminal prescripts to deal with the unbecoming and criminal conduct that exposed itself on the day.”

Democratic Alliance Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says the Speaker’s office should examine camera footage to see whether there isn’t a basis for criminal charges under the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act.

This prohibits anyone from interfering with the business of Parliament or its members.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)