EFF MP Nazier Paulsen to account for his alleged threats against DA MPs
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THE portfolio committee on powers and privileges found that EFF MP Nazier Paulsen has a case to answer after he allegedly threatened former DA MP Phumzile van Damme, as well as DA MPs Natasha Mazonne and Kevin Mileham.
The altercation happened during a parliamentary sitting in March this year when a war of words broke out between Paulsen and the opposition MPs. Paulsen and Van Damme were asked to leave the House.
After seeking legal advice, the committee also found there is prima facie evidence to sustain a charge of threatened assault against Paulsen.
It is alleged he threatened Van Damme with violence and told her to “go back to Swaziland”. He allegedly targeted DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone and told her to return to Italy.
The report by the committee reads that on March 4 this year, Mazzone made a submission in which she alleged Paulsen made certain utterances and threats against Van Damme and Mileham, which amounted to conduct constituting contempt of Parliament.
After receiving Mazonne’s submission, the committee allowed for Paulsen to respond to the allegations.
In his response, he said among others, “I would neither threaten to abuse nor abuse a woman. Her [Van Damme] spurious allegations are an attempt of to sully my name and cast aspersions on my character. I fear that Ms Van Damme would attack me and this has made my work environment unsafe for me and continue her unwarranted attacks on me.
“All other claims made by Ms Mazonne, as imaginative as it is, are spurious and actually just another attempt at painting a black man as some uncouth creature. I want the powers and privileges committee to sanction Ms Mazzone, who is known for distorting fact, for her slander.”
The committee’s report on Thursday read that in light of the seriousness of the charge of contempt of Parliament, the matter warrants a disciplinary hearing to be convened.