Bouncers in parliament

06 August 2015 - 02:21 By Jan-Jan Joubert and Babalo Ndenze

Parliament is bracing itself for the possibility of big trouble this afternoon when President Jacob Zuma takes questions from MPs. Last night, for more than an hour and behind locked doors, individuals with newly issued parliamentary staff permits practised how to eject supposedly unruly elements from the National Assembly.Earlier, the burly "bouncers", believed to number 30, were seen being issued with parliamentary permits and word quickly spread that they would be used to kick out Economic Freedom Fighters members should they try to disrupt proceedings .Sources confirmed the individuals were either former or current members of the SA Police Service.A hint of what might happen was unwittingly given by Nkandla ad-hoc committee chairman Cedric Frolich yesterday."I don't care what happens in the House tomorrow afternoon. We will reconvene the meeting immediately after the presidential question-and-answer session," he said.After corruption-related charges against him were struck off the roll by the Polokwane High Court on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema said he would be facing Zuma in parliament this afternoon.Acting parliamentary spokes-man Estelle Randall refused to say whether the spotted individuals would be in action this afternoon.Parliament has constantly claimed that protection services issues are "operational" and therefore cannot be revealed. It has refused to provide information on the use of a car fitted with a police-type blue light by parliamentary secretary Gengezi Mgidlana.These issues led to a big fallout at a closed meeting of the parliamentary oversight committee when acting chairman and deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli adjourned proceedings as the two issues came up on the agenda.DA chief whip John Steenhuisen warned the meeting this would have consequences today. He moved a motion saying the oversight committee was not effective and that Tsenoli's move was cynical and short-sighted."I have never been this angry in parliament," Steenhuisen said. "It was clear from the start what the ANC's plan was. Although I had informed Speaker Baleka Mbete of the issues of the blue-light car and the securitisation of parliament having to be put onto the agenda, she conveniently forgot to do so."

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