- Democratic Alliance interim leader John Steenhuisen allegedly was held back from the Budget Speech
- Steenhuisen was reportedly nearly denied entry into Parliament by members of the SAPS
- National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has been asked to investigate by the opposition party
Democratic Alliance interim leader John Steenhuisen nearly missed out on Tito Mboweni's 2020 Budget Speech.
After the Finance Minister had delivered his address, DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone rose on a point of order:
"Speaker, I am terribly sorry to have to inform this house that various members of the opposition, including the honourable leader of the opposition, were stopped from entering the precinct and that's why the honourable Steenhuisen arrived a little bit late for the speech.
"Because the police would not allow him to enter the precinct with his Parliamentary members gold card and he was required to produce an ID document which he didn't have on hand. The same thing happened to various other members of the opposition, they were stopped from entering the precinct."
Mazzone called on Modise to instigate an investigation into the conduct of the police officials in question:
"Now Madam Speaker, the safety and the access of the precinct lies within your office, and unfortunately I'm going to have to ask you to investigate why the South African Police Service deliberately obstructed a member from entering the precinct and thus breaking a rule and creating an illegal act in terms of the Powers and Privileges Act."
Former Economic Freedom Fighter spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also added to the comments made by Mazzone:
"We just want to affirm, honourable Speaker, that there is terrible over-securitisation of Parliament and there is targeted searching of honourable members in our own precinct. It is a serious inference in a different and separate arm of the state by the executive.
"The police are not under our orders, they are not under our control. They are under the control of the executive. Them treating us like that amounts to intimidation of MPs and a direct violation of the Constitution. Please, they must stand down or we must form our own Parliamentary security order. Otherwise, we are going to defy them at these gates."
Modise accepted Mazzone's point of order, promising that the matter would be investigated and that she would report back to Parliament.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mboweni announced that there would be no increase in VAT and taxpayers would be provided with relief this year.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!