Civil society groups protest at Parliament ahead of swearing-in of MPs

The demonstrators called on MPs to put their constitutional duties ahead of their party interest.

A handful of people gathered outside Parliament under the banner #DefendOurConstitution on 22 May 2019 ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for new Members of Parliament. Picture:  Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A handful of people gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday morning to protest corruption.

They gathered under the banner of several civil society groups. The protest came as 400 hundred MPs were due to be officially sworn in as members of the National Assembly.

The demonstrators said MPs need to put their constitutional duties ahead of their party interest.

Some held up posters saying, “We Want A Corrupt Free Parliament” and “No Captured MPs”.

Some of the organisations represented include the Right to Know campaign, the Equal Education Law Centre, Corruption Watch, Black Sash and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

The foundation’s Neeshan Balton said government would need to address the challenges faced by South Africans.

“We are here to say to parliamentarians that our country faces a huge challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment, as well as a global climate change challenge we have not responded to. This requires a capable and corrupt free state to lead the country out of the mess it’s been in over the last 10 years.”

Balton added that the civil society groups should be consulted on policy and legislation.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)