City of Cape Town delegation at a meeting of Parliament's portfolio committee on environmental affairs discussing the clearing of the Clifton beach by a private security firm. Picture: Chantall Presence/African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament - In a dramatic turn of events during a parliamentary committee meeting called to discuss the alleged eviction of people from public beaches in Clifton in December last year by private security guards, a City of Cape Town senior employee was booted from the legislature.

While Shehaam Samaai, a lawyer who was at Clifton on December 23 when guards from Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA) cleared the beach, was briefing the portfolio committee on environmental affairs, committee chairman Phillemon Mapulane stopped the meeting.

He told Caroline Knott, who is an advisor in Mayor Dan Plato's office, to stop "making gestures" and talking to her colleagues during the presentation.

Knott hit back, saying she did not understand what she was doing wrong. Mapulane told her not to engage in a dialogue with him as this was unparliamentary. Knott continued, prompting Mapulane to ask her to leave the committee room immediately.

"I'm not going to allow that conduct in this committee. That conduct is very despicable. Madam you are not allowed to have this conversation, you are not allowed to...I 'm telling you it's not in line with the rules of Parliament. Ma'am, can you please leave the room. 

"You're are giving Parliament the middle finger," he said.

African News Agency/ANA