“We should not see the kind of circus which occurred in the house of assembly[last week],” Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday. Nqakula, accompanied by the Justice Crime and Prevention cluster, was addressing members of the media at a conference in Cape Town concerning the chaos caused by the Economic Freedom Fighters during the presidential Q&A session held in parliament last week . Nqakula told the media that measures have been put in place to prevent a repeat of the disruptions that occurred during the question session with President Jacob Zuma. Nqakula and her counterparts however gave no indication as to what the “measures put in place” were.
Something that is worth mentioning and should not be forgotten, is that the “chaos” occurred INSIDE of parliament, yet there was no parliamentary representation present at the presser despite, interestingly, the press conference being held in parliament. Isn’t parliament supposed to be sovereign when dealing with such a matter? There seems to be no clear separation of powers, the exclusion of parliamentary representation could very well suggest that the ministers see no difference between government and parliament. “We cannot stay idle as our democracy is undermined in the full glare of the public”, said Nqakula. Justice Minister, Michael Masutha also added that the enforcement of law and order is our responsibility, not parliaments. What the ministers neglected to mention is the measures that they would take against the ANC staff members that tried to physically take matters into their own hands and force their way into parliament. Also in attendance was the Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, who was the responsible for calling in the riot police. Nhleko also addressed the argument that what occurred in parliament last week should be seen as a natural process bearing in mind the kind of parliament that we have, which allows for robust debate. “We should draw the distinction between heckling for purposes of enlivening the debate and disruption of that nature, which complete unruliness,” said Nhleko. The press conference was held in response to the chaos that was caused by the EFF in parliament last week, which led to parliament being suspended. The EFF claimed – during the Question & answer session – that the response from President Zuma, concerning his repayment of some of the funds in the controversial overspending on security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, was unsatisfactory.