Parliament, Friday 14 February 2020 - The Presiding Officers of Parliament join the rest of the membership of the Houses of Parliament in extending an apology to the guests and the people of South Africa for the conduct by the few Members of Parliament during the State of the Nation Address last night.

It is understandable that the people of South Africa would be highly concerned and disappointed by the conduct of certain members of Parliament. In order to restore order and calm, the Presiding Officers had to briefly suspend the sitting, which helped to calm the high emotions and allowed the House to determine a way forward.

The President was able to deliver the State of the Nation Address.

The conduct of members of the Economic Freedom Fighters will be referred to the Powers and Privileges Committees of Parliament for consideration and recommendation to the Houses of Parliament.

Going forward, Members of Parliament will have to seriously consider and make a determination on whether the existing joint rules sufficiently guard against disorderliness that has the potential to paralyse the business of the House.

Lastly, Parliament would like to confirm that political parties have submitted nominations for the Independent Panel to consider preliminary evidence on the motion by the Chief Whip of the Opposition regarding the removal of the Public Protector. A total of 22 names were received. The Speaker will now consider the nominations and make a determination on the three names to constitute the Panel. The decision of the Speaker will be announced by the end of February.

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