DA’s Steenhuisen approached by police over Mahlobo tweets

Mahlobo instituted legal action against Steenhuisen for a tweet in which he says he believes the minister was behind the break-in at the office of the Chief Justice.

FILE: DA chief whip John Steenhuisen in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen has confirmed he was approached by police over tweets about State Security Minister David Mahlobo.

Mahlobo instituted legal action against Steenhuisen for a tweet in March in which he said he believed the State Security Agency was behind a break-in at the offices of the Chief Justice when computers were stolen.

Steenhuisen says he stands by his assertions.

The DA’s Member of Parliament (MP) took to Twitter on Monday morning to confirm reports that four Gauteng police officers had attempted to meet with him at Parliament without prior notification.

Steenhuisen says this is a violation of the Powers and Privileges Act which prohibits policing functions from being performed in the precinct without the Speaker's permission.

“I thought they wanted to brief me on the investigation but then they wanted to take a warning statement and asked me questions about it.”

He says after refusing, the officers left and he has not heard from them since.

“He is a public office bearer and he must accept the hurly burly of politics and he's also the first one calling other people - Lindiwe Mazibuko and Thuli Madonsela - CIA agents and agents of foreign governments and he obviously can't take his own medicine.”

Steenhuisen says he believes his tweets were fair comment, and he is prepared for the matter to proceed to court.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)