Saturday, July 13, 2024

FIRST WITH SECURITY NEWS

Unruly members could be kicked out of first sitting of the National Assembly, Zondo rules

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Unruly members at the first sitting of the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and Provincial Legislatures could be removed from the chamber by the Legislature’s Protective Services and Security Services.

If violence ensues, as a result of a member resisting removal, the presiding officer may suspend proceedings, and members of the security services may be called upon to assist with the removal of identified members; provided that the Security Services may intervene directly anywhere when there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person or damage to any property.

These are among the amended rules by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. The amendments were published on Thursday, the eve before the first sitting of the National Assembly.

According to the amendments, the Legislature’s designated Protection Services, and members of the Security Services are not permitted to be armed.

“No member may use offensive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful, unbecoming or unacceptable words or language, nor offensive, unbecoming or threatening gestures,” Zondo instructed.

Safety is high on the list of concerns ahead of Friday’s first sitting of the National Assembly following former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) losing its legal bid to stop the Parliament sitting on the basis that the election was rigged.

On Thursday afternoon, the  National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) concluded a security state of readiness walkabout where a full security assessment was conducted to ensure all security measures were “aligned according to the integrated safety and security plan ahead of the first sitting of the National Assembly.”

The walkabout was preceded by a NATJOINTS meeting with all relevant stakeholders involved in the planning, coordination and execution of the security plan this morning in Cape Town.

Deputy national police commissioner Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili said NATJOINTS was still in the third phase of its national and provincial elections plan.

“As a structure, we are thus far satisfied with how our law enforcement agencies have responded to all incidents throughout the country during the elections phase.”  

“It is therefore fitting to say, as the NATJOINTS and all our PROVJOINTS structures we are ready to ensure the continued smooth running of all events that are yet to be held including the first sitting in Cape Town, and all Provincial Legislature sittings taking place simultaneously in all provinces,” she said.

No disruptions will be allowed and tolerated by law enforcement.

Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili

Mosikili said the Western Cape Provincial Legislature sitting on Thursday took place in a safe and secure environment.

“We remain confident that all others, just like this one, will take place without any disruptions. Our integrated safety and security plan is in place and all critical role players are ready to execute their various responsibilities as per their mandate.”

She said all law enforcement agencies coordinated through the NATJOINTS had mobilised resources to ensure deployments were in place, including heightening police visibility around the Cape Town International Convention Centre to prevent “any form of opportunistic crimes before, during and post the planned sitting.”

“It is important to emphasise that those who are not accredited or authorized to be in attendance, should avoid the area around the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday, 14 June 2024.”

“Only those with permits and digital access cards will be allowed near the venue and restricted areas. It is important to highlight, that the unauthorised transfer of these access cards is punishable by law.”

Mosikili said all law enforcement agencies deployed to secure the event will enforce the law at all times and at all areas of deployment.

“Each and every member deployed has a responsibility and an obligation to execute their respective mandates professionally, impartially and with integrity.  It is on this note, that we request everyone within the vicinity of the convention centre to cooperate with law enforcement officers. Any lawlessness and any form of criminality and any behaviour that contravenes the law will be dealt with.”

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