Cape Town - Four DA members, including one from Durban, on Friday lodged assault complaints, three against the police and one against an ANC deputy minister, following this week’s fracas in Parliament.
In addition, the DA has said it will no longer recognise the authority of Speaker Baleka Mbete, promising an escalation of tensions following Thursday’s brawl when police entered the National Assembly to remove EFF member Reneilwe Mashabela.
Mashabela had refused to withdraw her statement that President Jacob Zuma was a “thief”.
Terri Stander, Gordon Mackay and Juanita Terblanche lodged criminal complaints at the Cape Town Central police station, while Dean Macpherson said he went to the Durban North Police Station. Later on Friday, however, ANC spokesman Moloto Mothapo hit back, saying the DA was simply “claiming assault by the police” after they had interfered with the lawful conduct of the officers.
The three DA MPs who lodged complaints in Cape Town were accompanied by Mmusi Maimane, the party’s leader in the House.
After a brief wait in the charge office, they were taken to see the station commander. The media were asked to wait outside.
Maimane, who did not lodge a complaint, left the station 15 minutes later saying that Stander and Mackay were lodging complaints of assault by police, while Terblanche was lodging a complaint against the deputy minister of Higher Education, Mduduzi Manana.
Outside the police station, Terblanche said that Manana assaulted her after she crossed the aisle to ask Tourism minister Derek Hanekom what was happening.
While speaking to Hanekom she said she was “shoved by Manana and two women grabbed me by my arm and by my wrist and by my elbow”.
“They just held me, and one of my colleagues, Darren Bergman, saw from across the floor what was happening because they tried to drag me into the ANC fold. He literally got me out of there,” she said.
On Friday, however, Mothapo countered that it was the DA members who started the brawl.
“Some DA members could be seen clearly attacking the police,” he said.
When asked for comment, Western Cape police referred questions to the national police, who did not respond.
Manana could not be contacted for comment last night.
Dean Macpherson, meanwhile, flew to Durban after consulting a doctor. He said his arm and shoulder were injured when police “wrestled” him to the floor after he tried to assist a colleague.