Fists fly, shirts ripped, Sopa security guard accused of being drunk

EFF members were unceremoniously removed from the Eastern Cape provincial legislature ahead of premier Oscar Mabuyane's State of the Province Address after complaints that they were inappropriately dressed in their trademark red overalls.
EFF members were unceremoniously removed from the Eastern Cape provincial legislature ahead of premier Oscar Mabuyane's State of the Province Address after complaints that they were inappropriately dressed in their trademark red overalls.
Image: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

EFF MPLs at the Bhisho legislature will lay a formal complaint against the institution's security personnel after accusing one of them of being drunk on duty during premier Oscar Mabuyane's state of the province address.

EFF leader Yazini Tetyana told the Dispatch that his party would write a formal letter of complaint to  speaker Helen Sauls-August, asking her to investigate and discipline one of the security guards, whom they accused of “reeking of alcohol”.

The security guard denied that he was drunk, saying: “I had only consumed alcohol yesterday, hence I am reeking of alcohol now.”

This comes after the five EFF MPLs were forcefully removed from the legislature for flouting the institution's dress code by wearing their trademark red overalls during Mabuyane's second Sopa.

 EFF members refused to vacate the house after repeatedly being asked to do so by Sauls-August. That was when the security personnel descended, and clashes broke out.  

Moments before being ejected, Tetyana took to the podium wanting to speak about the dress code, a move that was shut down by the speaker. She said she would not allow anyone but Mabuyane to address the house.

DA MPL Nqaba Bhanga said the removal of the EFF members should be avoided as it could lead to a similar situation to the one seen in the North West provincial legislature last week, where EFF MPLs were left bloodied and injured after being assaulted by security personnel.

A group of about six security guards, clad in white shirts and black suits, stormed the house and went straight to where Bhanga was sitting in a bid to remove him from the house.

This prompted a number of DA MPLs, including Yusuf Cassim, to come to  Bhanga's defence.

Then security diverted their focus to the defiant EFF MPLs. A brawl ensued, with Tetyana leading the battle.

Legislature security head Wonga Manina's shirt was ripped  during the fracas.

Sauls-August's spokesperson, Lwandile Sicwetsha, said the speaker would wait for the EFF correspondence before deciding on any action to be taken against the security guard, if found guilty of being drunk at work.

asandan@dispatch.co.za


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