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'It happened at her command' - Naledi Chirwa on Mapisa-Nqakula's response to GBV complaint

14 June 2022 - 08:00
EFF MP Naledi Chirwa being escorted out of parliament after preventing President Cyril Ramaphosa from delivering his budget speech.
EFF MP Naledi Chirwa being escorted out of parliament after preventing President Cyril Ramaphosa from delivering his budget speech.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

EFF MP Naledi Chirwa says it is disingenuous for National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to say she is disturbed by allegations of gender-based violence (GBV) during a scuffle in parliament last week. 

EFF MPs were removed after delaying President Cyril Ramaphosa's budget vote on Thursday and Friday by disrupting proceedings and raising points of order. Parliament said in a statement on Monday Mapisa-Nqakula was disturbed by allegations of GBV during the altercation, and promised to institute a swift investigation into them.

Chirwa hit back, saying Mapisa-Nqakula ordered their forceful removal and should not act shocked. 

“It happened right in front of her eyes at her command. She was alerted numerous times. She responded by sending more men to handle women MPs. Shocked my foot!,” she alleged.

Parliament responded: “The speaker is highly disturbed by these allegations and wishes to place it on the record that no stone will be left unturned in establishing all the factual circumstances around them. Gender-based violence, whether committed against female MPs or female members of staff, must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“Our society is suffering the trauma of violence perpetrated by men against women, and this continues to represent a direct attack on the fundamental values of our democracy and the constitution. Parliament must lead society in this battle and, therefore, will never tolerate such acts, particularly within its precincts.”  

Mpisa-Nqakula said parliament also received reports of abuse from two Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS) members. It said one female member sustained injuries during the scuffle with EFF MPs and has since received medical attention. 

The EFF said last week it had opened a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and sexual assault against Mapisa-Nqakula and the PPS. The party vowed to pursue private prosecutions against the speaker and the PPS if the cases don't yield any results.

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