Public Enterprises Budget Vote 2019 incident: hearing day 3

Powers and Privileges of Parliament

26 November 2020
Chairperson: Mr P Mapulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Powers and Privileges Committee

National Assembly Rules
Physical Removal of Member from Chamber on Removal of members from Committee Room E249 during mini-plenary debate on Budget Vote 11: Public Enterprises on 11 July 2019

Hansard: 11 July 2019 & Video
Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act 4 of 2004
Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Amendment Act 9 of 2019 

25 Nov 2020

Public Enterprises Budget Vote 2019 incident: hearing day 2

24 Nov 2020

Public Enterprises Budget Vote 2019 incident: hearing day 1

15 Sep 2020

SONA incident: Legal Opinion; Public Enterprises Budget Vote 2019 incident: External Initiator Appointment

The Powers and Privileges Committee met in Parliament for a third day to deal with the incident that happened during the Public Enterprises Budget Vote 2019 in Room 249 on 11 July 2019.

The Initiator had questioned the first witness, a procedural officer, the previous day and the hearing commenced with Members of the Portfolio Committee putting questions to the witness. This was a slight departure from rules which permit only the Chairperson to pose questions but was done in the interest of a fair procedure and to compensate for the fact that the charged members of Parliament had elected not to attend the hearing. Questions focused on the actions of the accused Members and the actions of the Presiding Officer and whether her actions were in accordance with the Rules of Parliament both during the Minister’s attempts to present his budget vote and during the crossing of the floor by Members. Committee Members paid particular attention to the parliamentary rule which required the Presiding Officer to name each individual Member who was to be removed from the Chamber and whether the fact that events rapidly overtook procedure was an extenuating circumstance for having Members removed from the Chamber without naming them individually.

The second witness was the Presiding Officer who was taken through the video, frame by frame in some places. She explained her actions and motivations. Her testimony was consistent with that of the procedural officer who had advised her on the day. She expressed her shock at the time at the actions of Members and the fact that she had not experienced anything like that before in her six years as a Presiding Officer. The third witness was the Sergeant-at-Arms who was present in the Chamber from the commencement of the sitting and who was called upon to remove the Members. He explained that, before he had a chance to take action, the Presiding Officer considered the situation too threatening and he was dispatched to escort the parliamentary protection services into the Chamber to remove the Members standing before the podium. Questions focused on why Members of the ruling party and Members of the opposition party, who had also crossed the floor, were not removed from the Chamber.

The Initiator had no further witnesses and the hearing was concluded. The Initiator requested an adjournment to examine the transcripts of the hearing, to write up her findings and to recommend a sanction, if any. The following meeting would take place in the second week of December.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson welcomed Members and everyone to the Committee meeting. He stated that the Initiator,

Adv Ncumisa Mayosi of the Cape Bar, had questioned the witness the previous day and that the Committee Members would be given the opportunity to question the witness that day. He would be following the procedure as was required of the Committee.

He explained that the procedure to be followed in questioning the witness would be according to Item 7 of the Schedule.

The Chairperson read Item 7 of the Schedule: The member has a right to be present at the hearing. The committee, initiator and the member may call witnesses and these witnesses may be questioned by the chairperson, initiator, the member or the legal representative, either directly or through the fellow member. Members of the committee may also put questions to the member, but only through the chairperson or with the permission of the chairperson. After all the witnesses have been called, the member or fellow member may sum up the evidence and make a presentation to the committee.

The Chairperson explained that it meant that the witness or charged person could only be questioned by the Chairperson, the Initiator, the Member or representative. That meant that Committee Members could not interact directly with the witnesses. Members did not have the right to question the witnesses but could question the Members charged. Dr Ndlozi had stated that he wanted to question the witnesses and at the time of the discussion, the Committee had been under the impression that the Committee Members had the right to question witnesses. When he had consulted the Schedule, he had discovered that Members did not have that right. However, the Chairperson stated that, in order to be fair and because the Members who had been charged were not in attendance, nor their legal representative, he would permit Members to put questions to the witnesses. Each Member would be given about five minutes to do so and then he would wrap up.

He requested an indication from Committee Members who would like to put their questions to the witness.

Members’ Questions to the witness: Mr Collen Mahlangu, Under-Secretary of the National Assembly Table

Dr M Ndlozi (EFF) referred to page 3 of the bundle of documents:  Minutes of Proceedings of Mini-Plenary Session of National Assembly, Thursday, 11 July 2019: The member refused to leave the Chamber and proceeded to approach the Minister of Public Enterprises at the podium, joined by members of the

Economic Freedom Fighters present and further engaged in grossly disorderly conduct in contravention of Rule 69.

Was that a true reflection of what happened?

Mr Mahlangu: It was not only Mr Matiase who was removed from the Chamber. A number of other people were also asked to leave. It was not a true reflection of the events in the House. The minute-taker could be asked to revise the minutes to accurately reflect what happened.

Dr Ndlozi: Was it a true reflection? He asked for a positive or negative response.

Mr Mahlangu: Can I have a moment to read through the minutes? … Mr Matiase was removed but he was not the only one. Recalling the day in the chamber and the video footage, quite a number of people were removed from the Chamber. If it is not a true reflection, we could ask the people concerned to reprint the minutes because that is possible, especially if other records present a more accurate impression. The minutes did not record accurately what had happened. When the Chair had asked Mr Matiase to leave, he had not responded. When she asked him a second time to leave the Chamber, he had proceeded straight to the podium where the Minister was standing. But it could also be interpreted in that manner because Mr Matiase continued …

Dr Ndlozi pointed out to the Chairperson that he had only five minutes. Could he help him?

Dr Ndlozi: The question is very simple. The answer should be limited to “yes” or “no”.

Mr Mahlangu: (to the Chairperson) Does that mean that I cannot explain? Because…

Chairperson: You are allowed to explain but come to a conclusion.

Mr Mahlangu: The fact of the matter was that Mr Matiase did not want to listen to the ruling of the Chair. This is what is meant by disregarding the authority of the Chair. Mr Matiase repeated the point of order which had been ruled on, which was not in terms of the Rules. The minutes, however, do not reflect that other Members were also taken out of the House.

Dr Ndlozi:  Did the Presiding Officer order, as it was written in the minutes, Mr Matiase to withdraw from the House?

Mr Mahlangu: Yes, more than once.

Dr Ndlozi: At the bottom of page 15 is the Hansard and I am going to read it for you:

Mr N S MATIASE: House Chair, what you are doing is unlawful; it is unprocedural. We are not a group here. We are individual Members of Parliament, and if you want to eject us from this House you are compelled by the Rules of this House to name us. [Interjections.] Until you do that, you have no authority whatsoever to treat us the way you are treating us.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Matiase ... You know that you are giving me a task. I will start with you, hon Matiase. Hon Matiase, are you saying that the hon Minister is not going to speak

here? [Interjections.] I need an answer.

Serjeant-at-arms ... Serjeant-at-arms ... Serjeant-at-arms? Parliamentary security, please come in.

Dr Ndlozi: At no stage did the Chairperson order Mr Matiase to leave the House and that was the moment that the minutes were speaking about. There is no instruction from the Chairperson for the Hon Matiase to leave the House.

Mr Mahlangu: If you compare the video to this, this Hansard does not pick up where the Chair says, “Please leave the House” but I remember House Chairperson Boroto saying, “Please leave the House.” Hansard does not pick up everything that happens in the House due to a number of things, especially when there are disruptions. A person will ask you to go and look at the Hansard so that they may rule on a certain point of order and you will find that the incident does not appear in the Hansard.

Dr Ndlozi: My final question.  Page 600.. Yesterday you were identifying the Members and I realised that you knew a lot of the Members that have been charged. I shall read their names and ask you the questions. Did the Chairperson at any stage call Khanya Ceza, Makosini Chabangu, Ntokozo Hlonyana, Jeanet Komane, Thokozani Langa, Sindile Madlingozi, Rebecca Mohlala, Mothusi Montwedi, Thembi Msane, Dumisani Mthenjane, Nazier Paulsen, Andries Shembeni, Mathapelo Siwisa, Primrose Sonti, and Lorato Tito? Did she, at any stage, order them to leave the House.

Mr Mahlangu: She did not call out the names of the Members read out, Dr Ndlozi, but remember that here you are dealing with Members who are preventing others being removed or who had walked onto the floor and are doing a similar act to Mr Matiase and Mr Ceza, the two who started it. That was in terms of Rule 73 (12) that talks about Members who are being physically removed from the House:

Whenever a member is physically removed from the Chamber in terms of this rule, the circumstances of such removal must be referred by the Speaker, within 24 hours, for consideration to a subcommittee of the

Rules Committee appointed for that purpose.

Dr Ndlozi: Do you agree that other Members, including Fish Mahlalela, Boy Mamabolo, Hope Papo, Khaya Magaxa, Cameron Mackenzie, Steenhuisen, Natasha Mazonne and Steve Swart also crossed the floor?

Mr Mahlangu: Yes. And my apologies but yesterday, I could not identify two Members of the ANC who also crossed the floor but I went through the video last night. It was Ms Mojobo. Also Cameron, indeed, Steenhuisen, indeed, and Mazzone, indeed – they all crossed the floor.

Dr Ndlozi: In your view was that crossing of the floor not breaking the rules?

Mr Mahlangu: The rule says that Members may not cross the floor during proceedings but the rules also say that Members who may have contravened the rule and refuse to leave voluntarily are the ones that are supposed to be referred to that sub-committee.

Dr Ndlozi: I am asking if they broke the rule, in your view, by crossing the floor.

Mr Mahlangu: Yes. The rule says that Members are not supposed to cross the floor.

Dr Ndlozi: You will agree that these Members were never ordered to leave the House by the Chairperson?

Mr Mahlangu: No. They were never ordered to leave by the Chairperson; the same as the others were not ordered to leave.

Dr Ndlozi: Yet they crossed the floor.

Mr Mahlangu: Yes, but subsequent to crossing the floor, those Members did something in addition to crossing the floor.

Dr Ndlozi: Which was what?

Mr Mahlangu: Which was physically intervening against the removal of Members. There was a lot of hustling on the floor, if you can look, and there are specific Members who are doing it – pushing, shoving and almost … the Hon Chabangu’s actions that you have seen in the video are quite different from the actions of Steenhuisen who is standing there and Mazzone and the others. If I can clarify again, the sub-committee found when they looked at the video, …

Dr Ndlozi: No, Mr Mahlangu, you are a witness for the day. I am limited to evidence that was led by the Initiator. What I am asking is: there was no ordering of Chabangu to leave the House but the security removed him for crossing the floor. There was no ordering of Natasha Mazzone, also Steenhuisen to leave the House. Securities did not remove him for crossing the floor. So, my question is: Would you agree that both Steenhuisen and Chabangu contravened the rules of the House by crossing the floor? That’s all!  

Mr Mahlangu: Chairperson, what I said was that subsequently to crossing the floor by some Members, there were other, additional actions that you can see are truly, truly contravening the rules.

Chairperson: I think your first answer was: “Yes, they contravened the rules”  but you explained the context. Dr Ndlozi, I trust you have your response as your five minutes is up.

Dr Ndlozi: I wanted to ask about Rule … Let’s go back to the Minutes.

The Chairperson and Dr Ndlozi engaged on the fact that his time was up. The Chairperson indulged him by allowing to complete the question.

Dr Ndlozi: If a Chairperson says: “Members of the ANC leave the House”, do you agree that would be in contravention of the rules, specifically Rule 71(b)?

Mr Mahlangu: Indeed, you need to mention names for the sake of clarity because sometimes you might remove a Member that had not contravened any rule. In fact, the rule says “a Member”. If I remember correctly, when House Chairperson Boroto said: “I will start with you, Hon Matiase”, she was starting the process because she had realised that to say: “Hon Members of the EFF would not be correct.”

The Chairperson thanked Dr Ndlozi for completing his questions. He informed Members that they were not obliged to question the witness, but if they wished to do so, they were welcome. He called on Dr A Lotriet (DA).

Dr Lotriet: I shall be directing my questions through the Chairperson. I would like to ask Mr Mahlangu: Going back to the video that we watched yesterday, there were two instances that I can recall. It was Mr Matiase and the Member sitting next to him, I think it is Hon Hlonyana, who said, “The Minister will not address the House today.” I would like to know in terms of the rules and how Mr Mahlangu understands the rules whether he considers this to be a threat directed at the Minister?

Mr Mahlangu: Chair, indeed, the way that it was pronounced to the Minister, it sounded like a threat and that they would even intervene physically if he continued to give the speech. Hence they proceeded to the podium, in some way or the other, showing that they were serious about what they meant.

Ms D Peters (ANC): Mine is clarity-seeking to understand the process. Through you, Chair, between the minutes, the video and the Hansard, which one is the most reliable source?

Chairperson: Which one is more accurate?

Mr Mahlangu: I am venturing an opinion but the Committee should decide. When I look at the video, it is possible to see what is going on, but it is possible for Hansard to omit things because the sound is not so reliable. Sometimes one hears someone using unparliamentary language but when you go and check the Hansard, you cannot find it because the Hansard people could not hear it. The Minutes are not a true and direct recording of things that happen in the House. There is a particular style that is used and hence you might think there is a discrepancy. That could be the issue.

Chairperson: But in your view, which one more accurately depicts what has happened: the video or Hansard?

Mr Mahlangu: The video.

Ms Peters: Still on the minutes, the video and the Hansard. Is the minutes a true record or just a summary? If I can elaborate on my question Chair, if you look at the minutes of 11 July 2019, they say there (interrupted by her cell phone ringing): Members of the mini-plenary session met in Committee Room E249 at 16:43.  The first order was called at 16:44. Again, it says here in brackets: [16:44] Mr N S Matiase having disregarded the authority of the Chair was ordered by House Chairperson Boroto to withdraw from the Chamber for the remainder of the day’s sitting.


Ms Peters: Mr Mahlangu, through the Chair, would you say that the whole event had taken one minute? Did it take one minute from when the first order of the day was announced to when Mr Matiase left the Chamber?

Mr Mahlangu: Possibly not. From looking at the video, it took quite a while, so there could have been a mistake about the time. I understand that. Though the Minister had started his speech, it would take quite a while – at least two or three minutes. There is a possibility of a mistake.

Ms Peters: Lastly, I want to follow up on Dr Lotriet’s question regarding the intent of Members on that particular day when Hon Hlonyana explicitly said that the Minister would not address the House. Through you, Chairperson, would Mr Mahlangu, as the key person advising the presiding officer, say what he read into that statement and what his advice to the Presiding Officer was at that particular moment.

Mr Mahlangu: The threat was not the first of its kind. Parliament had seen it in SONA (the State of the Nation Address) and in other meetings, but if they were going to carry it out was a question that one could not answer. In terms of Powers and Privileges, if you prevented a Member from doing his job, you were breaking the law. What he could say to the Presiding Officer was that her ruling was final and that the threat should not intimidate her to agree to what they were saying. If they are coming…well, I never thought that the Members would approach the podium, but if they don’t want to withdraw from the House, you must call the Sergeant-at-Arms and you must call the parliamentary security services to remove them because it was a disruption of the business of the day which was the budget of Public Enterprise and nothing else.

The Chairperson invited the Initiator to re-examine the witness. She had indicated that she had just a few questions to put to him.

Re-Examination of Mr Mahlangu by the Initiator

Adv Mayosi: Mr Mahlangu, you were asked about Members, such as Mahlalela, Mamabolo, Papo, Magaxa, Mackenzie, Steenhuisen and others who crossed the floor but were not removed. Do you remember the question? You were correctly forced to concede that they were not removed despite breaking the rule relating to crossing the floor. Do you remember that?

Mr Mahlangu: Yes.

Adv Mayosi: Did they interfere with the exercise of the Minister performing his function?

Mr Mahlangu: Certainly, they did not interfere. You could see three or five Members of the ruling party standing there, even Mr Mamabolo with his hands in his pockets. And even on the other side with Cameron Mackenzie. They looked as if they were standing on both sides of the Minister. They were standing still. Compared to the others that were in front, some were even pointing – I don’t know where they were pointing – but they were disrupting, standing in front of the Minister and in front of the Presiding Officer..

Adv Mayosi: From what you saw, they did not interfere with the Chair or the business of the day?

Mr Mahlangu: Even from the beginning, the points of order were coming from one side and they never stood up to defy the Chair or to cause confusion in the House or make a noise in the House.

Adv Mayosi: And after the affected Members were removed, those others who had crossed the floor – Messers Mahlalela, Mamabolo, Papo, Magaxa, Mackenzie, Steenhuisen – returned to their seats?

Mr Mahlangu: They returned to their benches and the proceedings continued smoothly until the end.

Adv Mayosi: You were also asked about the Hansard and you were referred to page 15. At the bottom of page 15 where the Chair said: Hon Matiase ... You know that you are giving me a task. I will start with you, Hon Matiase. Hon Matiase, are you saying that the hon Minister is not going to speak here? [Interjections.] The question was put that at no stage did the Chair ask Mr Matiase to leave and your answer was that you recalled that the Chair had previously asked Mr Matiase to leave. In fact, you seemed to think that she had asked him at least twice. Can I refer you to page 11 of the Hansard, at the top?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no. Hon Matiase, now I am asking you for the last time: Take your seat ... [Interjections] .. or leave the House ... [Interjections.] ... or leave the House. [Interjections.] Order!

Adv Mayosi: Could that be what you were remembering: that he had been ordered to leave the House?

Mr Mahlangu: Yes. I remember he was asked to leave the House, which he did not respond positively.

Dr Ndlozi rose on a point of order. I really do not know how to say…

The Chairperson asked Dr Ndlozi to present his point of order.

Dr Ndlozi: This is wrong.

Chairperson: In what way?

Dr Ndlozi: You cannot say a person was directed to leave the House. It is not true. We are all in the room. Sit or leave the House. Let us have an honest process. I don’t want to fight but let us have an honest process.

Chairperson: The procedure that we have agreed on is that, although Members are not allowed to ask questions, I have allowed you to ask questions and all of you have asked questions. The Initiator has a responsibility to come back again and to re-examine.


Dr Ndlozi: I am not challenging the process, with the greatest respect. Let us just be honest. This is a Committee of Parliament and people are under oath and expected to speak the truth. If people don’t speak the truth, they can be taken to task. I am not challenging. The Initiator must do whatever. I’m just asking for a sense of honesty, that’s all. If someone clearly says something that was not true, the Chairperson has to help the Committee.

Chairperson: I am not on the witness stand. The witness is giving his testimony to the best of his ability. We are here and we are listening. The Initiator is here and is taking the witness through. At the end of the day, an argument is going to be made before the Committee and the Committee will deliberate. Dr Ndlozi, you must make notes and, during deliberation, you can say that Mr Matiase was not asked to leave. At the end of the day, your argument could be that that point was not an order to leave, but we cannot stop them from making their own point. So let us allow them to do that.

[Adv Mayosi spent a few moments checking her notes.]

Adv Mayosi: Chair, those are all the questions I have for this witness in re-examination.

Chairperson: The Hon Ndlozi wants to ask questions but he is not allowed to do so.

Mr Mahlangu: I was asked my opinion about which was more accurate.

Chairperson: Let’s leave that question, Mr Mahlangu.

Mr Mahlangu: Please can I put it on record in terms of the rules? Rule 362 speaks about the records of the National Assembly.

362. Records of National Assembly

The records of the National Assembly include —

(a) the Journals of the National Assembly;

(b) the Official Report of the Debates of the National Assembly (Hansard);

(c) the Order Paper, Question Paper and other papers produced under the authority of the House or the Speaker;

(d) documents officially before, or emanating from, a committee or subcommittee or other forum, excluding internally produced preliminary working drafts;

(e) papers tabled in the National Assembly; and

(f) official correspondence.

Mr Mahlangu: I would ask the Committee not to exclude any of those records when taking a decision on the matter.

Dr Ndlozi: Chairperson, with the greatest respect. He, Mr Mahlangu, is a witness and you must help us to remind him of that. He should not be lobbying us about what to include or not to include. It would be very dangerous to do what he was doing. The Chairperson must intervene.

The Chairperson stated that he was about to do that. There was some speaking over each other as the Chairperson attempted to get Dr Ndlozi to stop talking and allow him to perform his function.

Chairperson: I was uncomfortable, Mr Mahlangu, because when you are asked an opinion, it is simple: there is a video which has not been edited and there was Hansard – so which of the two did you think correctly depicted the situation accurately and you answered that question. You said:” The video.”

Dr Ndlozi: The question compared the minutes and the Hansard.

Chairperson: No, the Hansard and video. The answer had been given. If there were additional arguments the Initiator would do that as she was working on behalf of Parliament.

He thanked the Mr Mahlangu for appearing. He asked Adv Mayosi to ensure that future witnesses did not deliberate but answered the questions put to them. He called for the next witness.

Adv Mayosi said that her next witness would be the House Chairperson during the incident.

Presentation of evidence

Witness: Ms M Boroto Presiding Officer of Mini-Plenary in Committee Room E249 on 11 July 2019

The Chairperson swore Ms Boroto in.

Ms M Boroto: I am Mmatlala Grace Boroto, House Chairperson for Internal Matters in Parliament in the Member Support Office plus I assist the Speaker of the House. I have been House Chairperson from 2014 and have been an MP from 2009.

Adv Mayosi: As you are aware, this Committee is investigating allegations of contempt of Parliament that arises from an incident that happened On 11 July 2019 in a Mini-Plenary of which you were the Presiding Officer. You are aware of that?

Ms Boroto: Yes, I am aware of that.

Adv Mayosi: And that resulted in some Members being removed from the Chamber – this very Chamber, actually. Do you recall that?

Ms Boroto: I vividly do.

Adv Mayosi: After the incident, you wrote a report. Is that correct?

Ms Boroto: Yes, that is correct.

Adv Mayosi: Can we go to the bundle of documents to page 197? Is that the report that you wrote to the Speaker?

Ms Boroto: Correctly so.

Adv Mayosi: What was the purpose of the report?

Ms Boroto: The purpose of the report was, actually, to follow the Rules of Parliament. Where an incident happens, I have to write a report to the Speaker so that the report, including the recommendations that I make, can be given to the Sub-Committee on Rules. That Sub-Committee has to look at the recommendations and deal with it, and that is why we are here today.

Adv Mayosi: In the Background section, you state that you were the Presiding Officer on 11 July 2019 when repeated points of order were raised by members of the EFF and that the first Member to raise a point of order was Mr Matiase.

Can I confirm that you prepared your report and you stand by your report?

Ms M Boroto: Yes.

Adv Mayosi: I refer you to the Hansard. The recording of the day begins on Page 5, but turn to page 6 where Mr Matiase rose for the first time. At the end of that page, Mr Paulsen was calling for your attention but Mr Matiase began to express his point of order on page 7. The next person to speak was you where you say, “Hon member, what is your point of order? I don’t need a speech.”

Why did you ask him what his point of order was?

Ms Boroto: Because he stood up on Rules 78 and 79. Rule 78 did not apply because it is about what Members must do when speaking but I allowed him to speak on Rule 79 because that deals with a point of privilege. Speaking on a point of order is explained in Rule 72.  When he continued to speak, it was something different from what the rules prescribe and that is why I said, “It is not a point of order.”

Adv Mayosi: OK. But on page 7, you  haven’t said that yet. On page 8, of the Hansard:

Mr N S MATIASE: We have an obligation to protect Chapter 9 institutions, particularly the Office of the Public Protector.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, that is a point of debate and not a point of order.

Was that your ruling on the matter?

Ms Boroto:  Yes, it was a ruling.

Adv Mayosi:  Did he accept your ruling as final and binding?

Ms Boroto: No, he carried on as if I had not spoken.

Adv Mayosi: Page 8: The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Matiase, I am not going to listen to you anymore because that is not a point of order.

You were ruling again for a second time?

Ms Boroto: Yes, that was a second ruling. Because after my first ruling, he continued, but it was not a point of order.

Adv Mayosi:  What did he do after your second ruling?

Ms Boroto: He continued to speak about what he wanted to say, which was not a point of order.

Adv Mayosi: But we can see in this record that you tried to interject as he continued to speak.  Have you had an opportunity to have a look at the video footage recently?

Ms Boroto: Not much, but I did look at it.

Adv Mayosi: The Committee and I viewed the video yesterday and, at many points, it seemed as if you and he were speaking at the same time. Is it accurate to say that Mr Matiase was attempting to speak over you and you were attempting to stop him?

Ms Boroto: It was because I had already given a ruling but he didn’t listen to me. If I had kept quiet and allowed him to continue and not interjected, it would have meant that I was allowing it, but I had already made my ruling on it.  

Adv Mayosi: It carries on throughout page 8. At the bottom of page 9: The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Matiase, please take your seat. That’s not a point of order.

This is your third ruling. Did he take his seat?

Ms Boroto: No, he continued to speak.

.Adv Mayosi:  He continued to speak to page 11 in the Hansard.

Ms Boroto: He was making a speech.

Adv Mayosi: Top of page 10: The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Can I respond to you?

[Interjections.] Can I respond to you? Please, hon members, please be quiet. Hon Matiase, you must raise a point of order. That thing is not a point of order. It is a point of debate. [Interjections.]

That was another ruling - your fourth ruling. Did he accept this ruling?

Ms Boroto: No, he didn’t. He continued to speak and I continued to try to stop him until I asked him for the last time: “Take your seat or leave the House.” I ordered the Minister to continue.

Adv Mayosi: Mr Matiase did not leave the House and did not take his seat. So he and the Minister were standing at the same time?

Ms Boroto: Yes.

Adv Mayosi: On page 11: Mrs K N F HLONYANA: On a point of order, House Chair! On a point of

order ... on a point of order!

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: In a few days’ time ...

Mrs K N F HLONYANA: On a point of order, House Chair! Please rule.

So what did you say?

Ms Boroto: I did not know what she wanted me to rule on.

Adv Mayosi: Page 12:

Mrs K N F HLONYANA: Member Matiase has raised that Rule, and you, Chairperson, are not listening. You did not even allow him to speak and finish. You just rejected and you were just not listening. [Interjections.] This man is not going to speak today. It is not going to happen. [Interjections.] It is not going to happen. And we are not going to leave the House. We are not leaving the House and he is not going to speak today. He is not going to speak.

What did you make of that?

Ms Boroto: To me listening, it was a threat to the Minister and a threat to the House itself. It was a Mini-Plenary where Budget Votes were being debated and each Budget Vote was opened by the Minister who was the first to introduce the budget and if he did not, the entire proceedings could not happen. It was a threat to the Minister and a threat to the entire meeting and the proceedings of the meeting.

Adv Mayosi: On page 12, in your response to that you are experiencing some microphone problems, there were interjections and then you say:

May I please say this, hon members, politely so: This member who is in front of us is a member of the National Assembly. At the same time, he is our Minister of Public Enterprises. [Applause.] [Interjections.] If you are not ...[Interjections.] I am still talking. If you are not going to listen to the Minister, you can go. We are not going to allow disruptions. That is disruption. Continue, hon ...

What was the disruption?

Ms Boroto: Because the mere fact that you say to us that “that man” could not speak was a disruption because that was precisely why the Members were there. At the same time, it did not mean that the other members were quiet. There was a lot of talking that I could not even hear. To want the Minister not to speak was disrupting, to me. That was a disruption.

Adv Mayosi: So she was not only the one standing up.

Ms Boroto: Other Members around her were also shouting out and hands were up but she was standing up at the time.

Adv Mayosi: Then another Member stood up: Ms Komane stood up (page 12). Why was she standing up?

Ms Boroto: She rose on a point of order and when I asked her, she told me that she was rising on the same point that Mr Matiase had risen on and she continued to tell us why they were in Parliament.

Adv Mayosi: Page 13: The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, please take your seat.

Did she take her seat?

Ms Boroto: No. She actually said that she would not take her seat and carried on speaking.

Adv Mayosi:  The transcript reflects that Ms Komane carried on speaking to the top of page 15.  It was another to and fro where she continued speaking, you interjected and she carried on.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Komane, thank you for sitting down. Whoever stands on the same matter will have to leave us in peace. [Interjections.] To the hon members of the EFF, may I

ask this question: Is that what all of you are saying - that he will not speak? [Interjections.] Thank you very much. All hon members of the EFF, please leave the House. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Mr N S MATIASE: House Chair, what you are doing is unlawful; it is unprocedural. We are not a group here. We are individual Members of Parliament, and if you want to eject us from this House you are compelled by the Rules of this House to name us. [Interjections.] Until you do that, you have no authority whatsoever to treat us the way you are treating us.


What he was saying was that you had to call out each person by name. Was that a fair criticism?


Ms Boroto: When I asked them if they were all saying that, in unison they all answered, ”Yes!” very loudly. I do not know why Hansard could not pick that up as it was very loud, but that was why I responded, “Please leave the House.” But the Rules expect us to name each and every Member. That was why I decided to do as he requested and  to name each Member, one by one. They were standing up shouting, “Name us! Name us!”


Adv Mayosi: And so you decided to start with naming Mr Matiase?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Matiase ... You know that you are giving me a task. I will start with you, hon Matiase.  Hon Matiase, are you saying that the hon Minister is not going to speak

here? [Interjections.] I need an answer. (page 15/16)

Adv Mayosi: Tell us what you intended to do?

Ms Boroto: Actually, “I need an answer” came after something happened. After I asked him the question, he did not respond to me but he walked from his chair and crossed the floor and walked towards the Minister at the podium. As he was walking, I told him that I needed an answer. That is where the chaos started. But I shall not go further. At that time, because he had left his chair and was already on – what shall I call it? – the sacred floor that the rule says he cannot cross.

Adv Mayosi: What is that rule all about? For an outsider – why can he not cross the floor?

Ms Boroto: What happens is that once the Mace is in the House, it means that the proceedings have started and this place (she pointed to the floor between the benches), you cannot walk in. Even to go to the podium, you have to go via… You cannot cross the floor. Where Mini-plenaries are held in different venues, the mace is not taken there but the symbolism is there and once the sitting has started with a moment of silence, it means that the Chamber takes on the authority of the House.

Adv Mayosi: What did you make of that?

Ms Boroto: I was shocked. It had never happened to me. I was doing what he had requested me to do. I was asking him to leave the House by name and I expected him to respond to me or leave the House. I was shocked because it had never happened before. It was not allowed. He was crossing the floor and going to the Minister and I thought the threat was unfolding and I had to react immediately.

Adv Mayosi: Why did you call the Sergeant-at-Arms three times in quick succession?

Ms Boroto: I was afraid and I was concerned about what was going to happen. Maybe they would beat him (the Minister) or even stab him. We have seen that happen previously in other Houses of Parliament. I was just afraid because there was already a threat and I had to act in a way that the Member on the podium, who was the Minister at the time, was protected because of the threat that had been made that he would not speak.

Adv Mayosi: It wasn’t only Mr Matiase. A whole lot of others joined in quick succession, from the video.

Ms Boroto: It was in quick succession. The others were coming and that was why I had to call him three times.

Adv Mayosi: But why did you then quickly call parliamentary security services?

Ms Boroto: At that stage, the Sergeant-at-Arms wouldn’t have managed because, ideally, the Sergeant-at-Arms goes up to the Member to ask him to leave the House and then he would report to the Chair if he did not leave. But here, there were many Members disrupting and worrying about the Minister, I realised that the Sergeant-at-Arms would not be able to handle the situation. I called the Table staff, who were my advisors. I think it was Mr Mahlangu that day and he confirmed that the Sergeant-at-Arms would not be able to handle it. So, I called security services.

Adv Mayosi: But there were other Members, from the ruling party and from the other opposition benches, who also got onto the floor. What did they do?

Fish Mahlalela, Boy Mamabolo, Hope Papo, Khaya Magaxa, Cameron Mackenzie, Steenhuisen, and others were also on the floor. What did they do?

Ms Boroto: I don’t know why they came to the floor but my thinking was that there was danger to the Minister. They were just standing; they were not interfering but also had noted the danger. It was human that they did not want to have fights but maybe they wanted to protect the Minister. I agree that they also crossed the floor.

Adv Mayosi: Did they disrupt proceedings?

Ms Boroto: Yes, they did. Even if they had not charged the Minister, it was a disruption because they kept raising their hands and did not allow the Minister to continue. Obviously, I wouldn’t have allowed them to do that and they would have had to leave the House, but to do that, I had to name them one by one. But then things changed and when protection services came, they were all there in the front of the podium, so they all had to be removed.

Adv Mayosi: Would the Minister have been able to deliver his speech that day if the affected Members were not removed?

Ms Boroto: No.

Adv Mayosi: Would you have been able to exercise your authority over the House if those Members had not been removed?

Ms Boroto: I would not have allowed the Members to remain if they had continued to call out but they charged the podium.

Adv Mayosi:  What happened afterwards?

Ms Boroto: The proceedings continued and we got on with the business of the day.

Advocate Mayosi: Did the proceedings continue successfully?

Ms Boroto: Yes, the proceedings continued successfully.

Adv Mayosi:  What happened to the other Members who were on the floor?

Ms Boroto: They never said anything and they went back to their seats.

Adv Mayosi: I am thinking that in your tenure as a Member of Parliament, you must have seen many disruptions. Was there anything different about this particular disruption?

Ms Boroto: Yes, they charged a Member. To go directly to a Member at the podium and disregard anything else that is said (was different).

Adv Mayosi: You said in your evidence that there was a lot of noise at the same time, such as people speaking over each other and that is reflected in the video recording as there are a lot of gaps and interjections and Hansard not pick up all details.

Ms Boroto: Yes, there was too much interference.

Adv Mayosi: And you requested the Speaker to refer the matter to the Sub-Committee? Was that the end of your interaction with the incident?

Ms Boroto:  Yes. That is where it ended for me.

Advocate Mayosi: Chair, I do not have any further questions.

Chairperson: I shall allow questions of clarity by Members who have such questions.

Questions by Members

Ms D Dlakude (ANC): Let me take this opportunity to thank the honourable Member Boroto for giving us her side of the story. You have been the House Chairperson since 2014 and the one who was also chairing this House but I heard you say that it was the first time that you had experienced what you saw on that day and what was done by those honourable Members. Let’s say the parliamentary protection services were not there at that time. What would have happened if they had not come at the time that you called them? I understand that this was not the only Mini-Plenary that was happening. What would have happened if they had not come at that time? And what was going through your mind when the other Members from ANC benches, the Hon Steenhuisen and Mazzone from the DA and from the UDM (correctly ACDP), Steve Swart went towards the Minister? I want to hear your opinion in this regard.  


If the parliamentary protection services had not arrived at that time, what would have happened between the Members and how would that have portrayed our Parliament as everything is televised for public consumption. What example were we going to send out, given that the fact that our Constitution is hammering on a united, non-racial, non-violent, and democratic South Africa, and Parliament should not incite violence. What would have happened if the protective services were not in the House at that time? What would have happened between those who wanted to protect the Minister and those who wanted to attack the Minister?


Ms Boroto: It is good we have protection services at Parliament because, what made me panic – there were many people on the floor and I could not see what was happening, but I could hear – that was when the Minister said: “Let them touch me! Let them touch me!” I could not see and I was not sure, but there was a possibility that someone was trying to reach towards him. I thought that someone was reaching out and others wanted to protect him. Considering the Constitution and everything, I thought it was something that could go very bad, especially as we are Parliament that makes laws and puts consequences to them.

For a Minister to be charged, there was a threat and for the Minister to cry out, “Let them touch me”, it was bad. My thinking was that the other Members might have said, if the Members touched the Minister, they would protect him. If the protection services were not there, there might have been hitting and we don’t know what else.  I did not know what the Members intended to do to stop him from speaking but it would not have been a good thing for this country.

Dr Ndlozi: On page 310 of the bundle is rule 64(d) which is being used to charge the honourable Members for crossing the floor:

(A Member should) not during proceedings to pass between the Chair and the member who is speaking, nor between the Chair and the Table, nor to stand in any of the aisles or cross aisles, nor to cross the

floor of the House in front of the benches;

The rule spoke about not crossing the floor, or getting into the aisle. Members had been charged for crossing the floor.

Ms Boroto: Is that the rule that they have been charged with?

Dr Ndlozi: Yes. Let me show you. Go to the charge sheet of Mr Thokozani Makhosonke Langa on page 528.

On page 529, Charge 1 says:

Charge 1

It is alleged that you are guilty of conduct constituting contempt of Parliament in terms of section 13(c) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act 4 of 2004 (‘the Act’) in that, as a Member of Parliament and during a mini-plenary session of the National Assembly convened on 11 July 2019 in Committee Room E249 for the purposes of holding a Debate on Vote 9: Public Enterprises, you contravened section 7(a) of the Act when, during the proceedings, you wilfully failed and/or refused to obey Rule 64(d) of the Rules of the National Assembly, by crossing the floor of the House in front of the benches during the proceedings. Such conduct improperly interfered with, or impeded the exercise or performance by the House of its authority and functions.

Do you agree that anyone who crosses the floor or gets into the aisle is breaking Rule 64(d)?

Ms Boroto: Yes.

Dr Ndlozi: By that logic, did Natasha Mazzone not cross the floor and get into the aisle?

Ms Boroto: Yes, she did.

Dr Ndlozi: By that logic, did she break this rule?

Ms Boroto: Yes, she did.

Dr Ndlozi: In the Hansard on page 15 of the bundle, you say:

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto):... All hon members of the EFF, please leave the House.

After six years in the Chair, don’t you know that this is wrong? Why is it wrong?

Ms Boroto: I said that because they were all standing up and when I asked them, they all agreed. I was not going to allow any other Member to stand up on the same point of order as Mr Matiase and if they were all saying they were rising on the same point as Mr Matiase, that was when it came to me to say, let me finish this thing of them coming one-by-one because the sentiments were the same: they were not going to let him speak.

Ms Boroto: Let me read the whole thing:

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Komane, thank you for sitting down. Whoever stands on the same matter will have to leave us in peace. [Interjections.] To the hon members of the EFF, may I

ask this question: Is that what all of you are saying - that he will not speak? [Interjections.] Thank you very much. All hon members of the EFF, please leave the House. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Ms Boroto: The actual interjections were not captured. During the second round of interjections, they all said “Yes!” meaning that they would not let the Minister speak. That is why I said earlier that I don’t know why Hansard didn’t capture what they said. It was after they had said to me that they were not going to allow the Minister to speak that I asked them to leave the House.

Dr Ndlozi: You have not answered my question.

Ms Boroto: Put it in a way that I can understand it.

Dr Ndlozi: You said earlier that you were wrong to ask Members to leave as a group.

Ms Boroto: After the intervention of Mr Matiase, I decided to do it the correct way.

Dr Ndlozi: You agree that what you were doing there was the wrong way.

Ms Boroto: No, in the context it was not wrong. They all said they would stop the Minister speaking so I said they must all leave the House. After Mr Matiase’s intervention, I decided to do it that way: the correct way.

Dr Ndlozi: So, this was the incorrect way.

Ms Boroto: It was not the incorrect way, given the context of why I said that.

Dr Ndlozi: So you are saying that to say “All hon members of the EFF, please leave the House.” was not wrong.

Chairperson: She has answered the question.

Dr Ndlozi: So you stand by that?

Ms Boroto: Yes.

Dr Ndlozi: I am going to page 312, Rule 71(b):

71. Naming or suspension of member

If a presiding officer is of the opinion that a contravention committed in terms of Rule 70 by a member of the House is of so serious a nature that an order to leave the Chamber for the remainder of the day’s

sitting is inadequate, the presiding officer may —

(b) if he or she is not the Speaker, name the member and order him or her to leave the Chamber immediately …


So, if you said “All Members leave the House” - you are not naming any Members.

Ms Boroto: Hon Ndlozi, I have told you that, in the context.

Dr Ndlozi: Ok, I abandon it; I abandon it.

Dr Ndlozi: There are two other things. In your report on page 198 section 9:

I then proceeded to commence with the process of identifying each member being requested to leave the House by name, starting with Hon Matiase. At this point Hon Matiase proceeded to approach the Minister of Public Enterprises who was standing at the podium.”

 Do you agree that you never got the chance to name the Members and tell them to leave the House?

Ms Boroto: That was my starting point.

Dr Ndlozi: But you never did get the chance to name the Members.

Ms Boroto: Honourable Ndlozi, I started with Matiase and I was going to do as the Rules expect me to do.

Dr Ndlozi: Let me ask it differently. Did you ask Hon Primrose Sonti to leave the House?

Ms Boroto: No.

Dr Ndlozi: Did you ask Hon Khanya Ceza to leave the House?

Ms Boroto: No.

Dr Ndlozi; Did you ask Hon Sindile Madlingozi to leave the House?

Ms Boroto: No. None of them except when I asked Members of the EFF to leave the House.

Dr Ndlozi: Last thing. Section 17 of the Constitution gives the right to protest.

Ms Boroto: Where?

Adv Mayosi: I am inclined to object. Ms Boroto is a factual witness, not a legal witness. She should not be subjected to legal questions. There will be a time to deal with the legal arguments.

Chairperson: OK. Dr Ndlozi, go ahead, although we know that you are out of order. We are not in a legal setting. That is a legal argument but we are allowing it.

Dr Ndlozi: Section 17 Top of Form of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 - Chapter 2: Bill of Rights:

17.  Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition

Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.

Dr Ndlozi: Do the Rules of the National Assembly make a provision for Members to protest?

Ms Boroto:  No, they don’t. The Members can go outside and protest.

Dr Ndlozi: Do the rules tell people where to protest?

Ms Boroto: The Rules of the National Assembly do not allow for protest by the Members, especially in the Chamber.

Dr Ndlozi: You agree with me that the Rules of the National Assembly do not make a provision for protest?

Ms Boroto: Yes, not in the House.

Dr Ndlozi: When Hon Matiase moved from his chair and arrived at the podium, did you see him do anything to Minister Gordhan?

Ms Boroto: No.

Dr Ndlozi: What did he do when he got there?

Ms Boroto: I don’t know. But he was not allowed to be there in the first place, which was why I started calling for the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Chairperson: We agreed on five minutes but this is not five minutes.

Dr Ndlozi: But Hon Dlakude asked a long question with a huge preamble. This is unfair. I am asking pointed questions.

Chairperson: Dr Ndlozi, you yourself said five minutes is five minutes.

Dr Ndlozi: Yes, I know. But this is unfair, so I am going to ask my last question.

Chairperson: Hon Ndlozi…

Dr Ndlozi: I am going to ask my last question. If Members contravened the rules and stood there and said that they were demonstrating, would they be within their constitutional rights?

Ms Boroto: I am not going to answer that question.

Chairperson: Thank you, that was the last question. We do indulge the Hon Ndlozi but please stick to what we agreed on. If it is five minutes, it is five minutes.

Ms E Peters (ANC):  Through you, Chairperson to Hon Boroto: As Chairperson with six years’ experience as Presiding Officer, what governs proceedings in the House?

Ms Boroto:  Presently we are using Edition 9 of the Rules of the House of Assembly.

Ms Peters: I refer to the Hansard on page 12:

Mrs K N F HLONYANA: This man is not going to speak today. It is not going to happen. [Interjections.] It is not going to happen. And we are not going to leave the House. We are not leaving the House and he is not going to speak today. He is not going to speak.

In your view, what is that?

Ms Boroto: A threat.

Ms Peters: At this point, getting this threat, didn’t you realise that you had to do something about the activity?

Ms Boroto: Yes.

Ms Peters: That is why I started with your experience of six years.  Why did it take you so long to order Members who were visibility violating or behaving as per Rule 69: Disorderly Conduct– in Afrikaans they say “oproerige gedrag” – because it does indicate that at that time you were aware of the threat and where it was directed: “this man” – not even “this Minister” – “is not going to speak” and that ‘we – the royal we or the number of Members – are not going to leave the House.”

Ms Boroto: The question is why did I take so long to remove Ms Hlonyana?

Ms Peters: Yes, and those that were disorderly or conducting themselves in a disorderly way.

Ms Boroto: Well, to me, at that time, the disorderliness was not something that I could prove. What she had said was wrong but it was not gross disorder and as Officer Presiding, I have to exercise a lot of patience as my aim is not to withdraw people from the House. That is why we give opportunities for withdrawals and apologies. My aim is to have every Member in the House for the sitting. At that time, the disorder was not gross: there were just too many points of order.

Ms Peters: Coming to the grossly disorderly conduct. At the point that Hon Matiase walked from his seat across the floor to the podium, why did you not act at that time to call the Sergeant-at-Arms? He was already in violation of Rule 64.

Ms Boroto: I think I did. He didn’t respond so that I could give a ruling to him. He walked straight there and that was when, after the threats that had been made, he was acting out the threat, so that was when I had called the Sergeant-at-Arms

Ms Peters: In the video of 11 July, that we watched, from the start at about 16:43 to about 18:00 when the House adjourned, we saw a number of Members on their feet and on the floor. Why did you not order them, including those from the DA and the ANC to take their seats when you saw them on the floor? Why did you not intervene? You had made a call for the Sergeant-at-Arms and for the protection services. Why did you not call on them to take their seats?

Ms Boroto: At that time, the matter was out of my control.

Chairperson: We are now exceeding the five minutes and Members are not supposed to be asking questions, so I want you to keep to the five minutes.

Ms Peters: My apologies, Chair. I thought the five minutes was my time and did not realise that included answers.

Ms G Tseke:(ANC) I just want confirmation. Do you think the incident that happened on 11 July 2019 constituted grossly disorderly conduct, in your view, as confirmed by the DA Whip, House Whip of the ANC, the Member of the IFP, Dr Singh, Mr Shaik of the IFP and the ACDP?

Ms Boroto: Yes.

Adv Mayosi: I have no questions of re-examination.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Boroto and permitted her to leave.

Chairperson: Who was the next witness?

Adv Mayosi: The next witness has to leave by 13:30 because he has to prepare for the sitting in the House at 14:00.

Chairperson: I am going to be very strict about the five minutes.

Dr Ndlozi asked how many witnesses would be called. Would the Committee finish that day?

Adv Mayosi stated that there was only one more witness who was giving input on a very limited involvement. She suggested that it would be possible to finish that day.

Presentation of evidence

Witness: Tebello Maleme Sergeant-at-Arms in Committee Room E249 on 11 July 2019

The Chairperson swore in Mr Tebello Maleme.

My name is Tebello Maleme. I am employed as the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms, and am currently Acting Sergeant-at-Arms. My duties are largely ceremonial and procedural: leading proceedings, ensuring doors are closed during voting sessions and ensuring provision of security in and around the National Assembly Chamber and removing persons when the Presiding Officer instructs me to remove someone from the House according to the Rules of Parliament. I am also responsible for maintaining attendance of Members in the House.

Adv Mayosi: You are responsible for the removal of Members from a Chamber. We are dealing with an incident that took place in this very same Chamber on 11 July 2019. Were you on duty on 11 July 2019?

Mr Maleme: Yes, I was on duty.

Adv Mayosi: Where did you sit as the Sergeant-at-Arms?

Mr Maleme: I sat right at the back in the gallery on a chair on your right-hand side.

Adv Mayosi: You observed the proceedings?

Mr Maleme: That is correct.

Adv Mayosi: One of your functions is removing people in accordance with Rule 73 read in conjunction with Appendix C: Standard Operating Procedures.

Mr Maleme: Correct.

Adv Mayosi: Describe when your role as a Sergeant-at-Arms would be triggered in a Chamber.

Mr Maleme: When a Presiding Officer has asked a Member to withdraw a statement or withdraw from the Chamber and the Member does not agree with the Presiding Officer, the Presiding Officer would call on the Sergeant-at-Arms to assist him or her.

Adv Mayosi:  How do you do it? How do you carry out your role?

Mr Maleme: I move from where I am seated and inform the Member that the Presiding Officer has issued an instruction and it is important that the instruction of the Presiding Officer be obeyed. I do that in a respectful manner and explain that the matter may be escalated. In the event that the Members does not obey, the Presiding Officer would call the protection services.

A brief extract from video was played.

Adv Mayosi: So the Presiding Officer said she needed the answer but Members started to move towards the podium and the Presiding Officer said three times in quick succession: “Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms!” You were sitting in the gallery. What did you do?  

Mr Maleme: I stood and I attempted to approach the Members because I understood the Chair wanted me to go and speak to the Members of the EFF.

Adv Mayosi: How did you know who to go to? There were other Members on the floor. How did you know which Members her call related to?

Mr Maleme: Prior to that the Presiding Officer was in the process of asking certain Members if their position was to stop the Minister speaking. She started asking them one-by-one. Then they approached the podium and she immediately called: “Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms!” She sounded as if there was a sense of danger. I understood her to mean that I should assist with the Members who were approaching the podium.

Adv Mayosi: You say you moved from the back – you are not yet in the frame (of the video). Then what did you do?

Mr Maleme:  As I approached the podium, the Presiding Officer then changed the procedure and called the parliamentary protection services. I turned immediately because, although the security services could come into the Chamber through the instruction of the Presiding Officer, that had to happen under the direction of the Sergeant-at-Arms, so I had to go and tell the Parliamentary Protection Services that they were required to come into the House.

Brief footage of video played.

Adv Mayosi: It seemed to be taking quite a long time. Where were the members of the Parliamentary Security Services (PSS)?

Mr Maleme: They were standing outside the Chamber.

Adv Mayosi: And from your evidence, they could not come in until you called them in on the order of the Chair.

Mr Maleme: That is correct.

Further video footage was played in which the Sergeant-at-Arms identified himself and members of the PSS.

Adv Mayosi: You described the process as you go to the identified Member and ask the Member to leave and so on but that was not the process that you followed. Can you explain why you did not follow the process set out in the Standard Operating Procedures?  You did not go to remove the Member.

Mr Maleme: Things happened so quickly. When the Presiding Officer initially called me, the intention was for me to approach the Member for reasons that I have explained but when she changed her tune to say the protection services must enter into the Chamber. From my experience, I understood that when the Presiding Officer called the PPS, it was because Members must be removed. Otherwise I do talk to Members and undertake the initial engagement with them but when the situation escalates and PSS is called in, I understand that they must remove a Member or several Members.

Adv Mayosi: What instruction did you give to the security services when you called them in?

Mr Maleme: I quickly told them that I suspected the Chair meant that it was the EFF Members who should be removed.

Adv Mayosi: I ask that because it is clear when the PPS comes in, it is the Members in red who are removed.

Mr Maleme: That is correct.

Adv Mayosi:  I am sure that as Sergeant-at-Arms, you have witnessed quite a few disruptions. Was there anything different or special about this incident, in your experience?

Mr Maleme: That is true. I have seen Members being removed from the Chamber. I think what was unusual about this one was the fact that Members of the EFF approached the podium. I do not recall an instance where Members literally approached the podium where another Member was about to speak.

Adv Mayosi: What did you think about that?

Mr Maleme: I was a bit shocked. I didn’t know if approaching the podium meant anything at all. It all happened so quickly. It was a bit shocking.

Adv Mayosi:  You remained there until the Members were removed. Were the Members leaving voluntarily or were they resisting?

Mr Maleme: I recall some pushing as they were being assisted to leave the Chamber. Because of the pushing and shoving, one would not necessarily say it was voluntary.

Advocate Mayosi informed the Chairperson that she had no further questions for the witness.

The Chairperson invited questions but stated that he would be strict about restricting each Member to five minutes for the questions and answers.

Questions by the Members for the witness: Mr Maleme, Sergeant-at-Arms

Dr Ndlozi: Do the rules empower you to remove Members of a political party?

Mr Maleme: I act under the instruction of the Presiding Officer. Members are removed from the Chamber because the Presiding Officer has made that request.

Dr Ndlozi: I note that you stated earlier that there are rules relating to you removing Members.


Mr Maleme: Yes. There are rules that regulate the removal of Members from the Chamber that activate my role as a Sergeant-at-Arms.

Dr Ndlozi: Do those rules empower you to remove Members of a political party?

Mr Maleme: Under the instructions of the Presiding Officer, yes, they do.

Dr Ndlozi: Under the instructions of the Presiding Officer, would you remove a party? If a Presiding Officer said to remove the DA, would you remove DA Members, and would that be within the rules?

Mr Maleme: If a Presiding Officer has not named the specific Members to be removed, there might be two or three Members.

Dr Ndlozi: I am going to read from page 312, Rule 71(b), which I thought you knew:

(b) if he or she is not the Speaker, name the member and order him, or her to leave the Chamber immediately’

Dr Ndlozi: Name the Member!

Rule 73: If a member refuses to leave the Chamber when ordered to do so by the presiding officer in terms of Rule 70 or 71, the presiding officer must instruct the SerjeantatArms to remove the member from the

Chamber and the precincts of Parliament forthwith.

Dr Ndlozi: Do you agree that it is to do with a Member who has been named by the Presiding Officer?

Mr Maleme: Yes.

Dr Ndlozi: Do you agree that there is nothing in the rule that would empower you to remove members of a political party? They have to be named.

Chairperson: The witness is saying that he was acting on the instruction of the Presiding Officer. Whether the instruction was wrong or right, he was acting on the instruction of the Presiding Officer.

Dr Ndlozi: Could you act on instruction of the Presiding Officer, even if it were in contravention of the rules?

It is illegal for the Presiding Officer to say Members of the DA must be removed. Would you remove them?

Mr Maleme: It depends on the context.

Dr Ndlozi: At no stage did the Presiding Officer tell you exactly who to remove. She shouted, “Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms!” You said that you suspected when she called for security, that she was asking for the removal of EFF Members. Correct?

Mr Maleme: I did say so.

Dr Ndlozi: Why would you suspect that she is asking for Members of the EFF when the rule says she must send you to a person, and name him?

Mr Maleme: Initially the Presiding Officer had started the process of naming Members who were determined at that point that the Minister was not going to speak. So, as she started the process, the Members stood and walked to the front.  My observation was that she felt that there might be danger and something might happen at that point which was why she called me three times and immediately changed to call protection services.

Chairperson: OK, your five minutes is up.

Dr Ndlozi: Chair, a final, final clarifying question. They (Adv Mayosi) said to you that protection services took a long time to come back. When you returned to the Chamber, did you find the charged Members engaged in any violence?

Mr Maleme: No

Chairperson: That was a new question. Not a follow up.

Dr Ndlozi: No! It is for clarity. I was trying to find out where the threat or the danger was that he was calculating and attributing to the Members.

Chairperson: OK.

Ms Dlakude: Please respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each of my questions. Did you usually sit in sittings of the House and Mini-Plenaries?

Mr Maleme: Yes.

Ms Dlakude: Were you sitting in this room on the chair indicated earlier?

Mr Maleme: Yes

Ms Dlakude: Did you see everything that happened?

Mr Maleme: Yes.

Ms Dlakude: What you saw happen on that day, was it something that was supposed to happen or were Members violating the rules of the House in your understanding?

Mr Maleme: If a Presiding Officer orders that, for example, Members should not stand on points of order and they do, that can be interpreted as a violation of rules.

Ms Dlakude: In terms of Rules 71 and 73, you acted according to the rules that state that you are called by the Presiding Officer to act?

Mr Maleme: Yes.

Ms Dlakude: Do you agree that she first called you and then the protection services because she was in distress, or in a jolly mood?

Mr Maleme: From how events unfolded, she looked like she was in distress.

The Chairperson noted that Ms Tseke was not in the room and so she forfeited her right to question the witness.


Adv Mayosi: Your evidence was that you had observed everything that had been said from the beginning (of the sitting) and you had been shocked by the conduct you saw. You said that the Chair had begun to name the Members who would not permit the Minister to speak. So, although there was no time to name names, you knew who had to be removed. Is that correct?


Mr Maleme: I could only assume that, because of the process that she had begun asking specific Members of a specific party, that the Chair meant that those people had to be removed from the House.

Adv Mayosi: Because they were obstructing the proceedings?

Mr Maleme: Yes.

Adv Mayosi had no further questions.

The Chairperson adjourned for lunch.

On return, the Chairperson noted that all the witnesses had been called by the Initiator and, in terms of the Schedule to the Rules, the Initiator may address the Committee on the evidence before it and may propose a penalty as the hearing was complete.

Adv Mayosi stated that she had concluded her case that she had intended to put up against the affected Members. She proposed that she would benefit from the transcripts to prepare closing arguments and to propose a penalty. She had been advised by her clients in Parliament that the service providers took two days to deliver the transcripts, so she anticipated that the transcripts would be ready on Tuesday at the earliest. She asked to be able to go through the transcripts to draft her closing arguments and she wanted to present a written closing argument and penalty.

She proposed that, seeing it was the conclusion of giving evidence, the Committee adjourn until a later date.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee adjourn but did not confirm another date for the next meeting of the Committee. Once the Initiator was ready, the secretariat would liaise with him and set up a date. If transcripts were coming back on Tuesday, he thought it would be too soon to meet the following week.

Adv Mayosi suggested the week after the following week.

The Chairperson stated that, as Parliament was rising the following week, he would have to apply to the House Chairperson to be granted permission for a meeting beyond next week. However, he did not believe that there would be a problem in getting permission to meet.

He explained that the Committee had to receive closing arguments by the Initiator and deliberate, come to a decision and then the report would be drafted.

Adv Victor Ngaleka, Procedural Advisor, National Assembly Table, added that if the Members were found guilty, they would have to be given the opportunity to respond to the decision.


Closing remarks

 The Chairperson stated that the next meeting would be a virtual sitting. The live session had been to ensure interaction with the witnesses. He thanked Members and concluded the sitting.







The meeting was adjourned.

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