Pretoria – 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 Ramaphosa’s Budget Vote in June.
The investigation appointed by National Assembly speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula came after EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu laid a complaint against the Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS), saying the party’s female MPs were sexually harassed.
The investigation which was led by advocate Elizabeth Baloyi-Mere, found that the removal of the disruptive MPs by the PPS was characterised by violence on both sides.
The report found that Mapisa-Nqakula tried to comply with each and every rule before she could call for members to be removed out of the chamber.
Baloyi-Mere recommended that the Speaker holds a meeting with all the Chief Whips to ensure that all public representatives comply with and abide by the Rules of Parliament.
The report also recommended that during any given sitting of Parliament, there should be an adequate number of female PPS present.
“This is based on the investigator’s observation that, during the scuffle, there was no adequate capacity from the female component of the PPS members to effectively handle the removal of EFF female MPs,” read the statement.
The investigator pointed out the disgraceful conduct by some members of undermining the authority of the PPS and treating them with disrespect and disdain as shown in some of the video footage.
“Although the investigation ruled out GBV and sexual harassment, the Speaker condemns any act of violence and assault that occurred during the scuffle,” Parliament said in a statement.