Friday, 05 August 2022 22:25

No evidence found of sexual harassment during EFF's removal from parliament.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

An independent investigator has found no evidence of gender-based violence and sexual harassment when EFF MPs were removed from the house during President Cyril Ramaphos's Budget Vote in June.

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

The trio were among EFF MPs who were removed from the chamber for displaying disruptive behaviour, which saw the debate on the President’s budget vote delayed by over an hour.

"The Speaker had appointed Adv Elizabeth Baloyi-Mere to investigate allegations of GBV or sexual harassment made by EFF Chief Whip, Mr Floyd Shivambu, against the National Assembly Speaker and some members of the Parliamentary Protection Services, and counter allegations made by PPS personnel against the EFF Members of Parliament (MPs). (sic),"Parliament said in a statement on Friday.

However, the report found that the removal of the disruptive Members by PPS was characterised by violence on both sides."

According to the statement, the MPs refused to comply with the instructions of the Speaker or ignored the Speaker when they were requested to leave the premises. The report also found that Mapisa-Nqakula complied with every rule and instructing for the removal of the EFF MPs from the Chambers was her last resort.

"Furthermore, the report recommended that MPs accord respect to the PPS personnel. This is in light of the serous 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."