Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

‘Ridiculous and illogical’: EFF rejects findings into MPs’ removal from Parliament

Advocate Baloyi-Mere found the removal of the EFF MPs by the PPS was characterised by violence on both sides.

The EFF has rejected the findings made by an independent investigator appointed by Parliament to probe claims of gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment when its MPs were removed from the National Assembly during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Budget Vote in June.

EFF MPs’ removal from Parliament

The red berets have described advocate Elizabeth Baloyi-Mere’s findings as “ridiculous, compromised, and patently illogical” after she found no evidence of GBV and sexual harassment against the Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS) when they removed disruptive MPs.

Parliament had received a complaint from EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu calling on National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to investigate allegations of GBV committed by the PPS against its female MPs Babalwa Mathulelwa, Noluvuyo Tafeni and Naledi Chirwa.

ALSO READ: Investigation finds no evidence of GBV during removal of EFF MPs in parliament

Advocate Baloyi-Mere found the removal of the EFF MPs by the PPS was characterised by violence on both sides.

She also found that the MPs refused to comply with the instructions of the speaker or ignored her when they were requested to leave the chambers.

The report further states that Mapisa-Nqakula complied with every rule, and her instruction for the PPS to remove the EFF MPs was her last resort.

“Furthermore, the report recommended that MPs accord respect to the PPS personnel. This is in light of the serious claims made during the investigation, which were also corroborated by the video footage relating to abuse, threats and attacks PPS members often suffer from MPs,” Parliament said in a statement on Friday.

‘Thugs’ deployed by the speaker

EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo said Baloyi-Mere’s findings “shamefully” sought to place equal blame for the violence committed by “the thugs” deployed by Mapisa-Nqakula on that day on the party’s MPs.

“It is an objective fact that EFF Members of Parliament were assaulted for holding Cyril Ramaphosa accountable for money laundering, kidnapping, torture and concealing of a crime at Phala Phala Farm.

“This was done under the instruction of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who went on to pose as a neutral Speaker, who can without bias appoint an Investigator,” Tambo said in a statement.

He said Baloyi-Mere conceded in her report that there was violence meted out against EFF MPs, but she “unjustifiably” tried to place the resistance by the party’s MPs to “blatant assault as on the same paradigm as the unprovoked assault by Parliament Security Services.”

“Baloyi-Mere further concludes that there was indecent and inappropriate touching of female members of Parliament by male security personnel, yet illogically does not find this as sexual harassment.

“It is this disingenuous balancing act that undermines the legitimacy of the report, and its failure to note this violence as what it was, gender-based. It was under the instruction of Mapisa-Nqakula that members were physically and sexually assaulted.”

Tambo further added that the EFF would continue to pursue the accountability of the speaker for her role in the alleged use of “brute force” to suppress democratic debate in Parliament.

“There remains a case open against the speaker for her role in the abuse of members, and no circus which pretends to be an investigation will absolve her of her barbaric acts in defence of corruption,” he said.

NOW READ: EFF MP removed from Parliament over ‘money laundering’ dig at Ramaphosa

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