Parliament rejects as false and mischievous a newspaper report alleging that the institution was acquiring combat gear for its Protection Officers in preparation for the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
It is unfortunate that the report, which appeared today in a major Sunday newspaper, relies wholly on unsubstantiated information while the official response to the sensational allegations is reduced to a mere denial.
Physical fitness and good conditioning are inherent competencies for safety and security officers. Parliamentary Protection Officers undergo training as part of their tasks. This has nothing to do specifically with the State of the Nation Address.
The training for Parliament Protection Officers will continue.
We reject the sensational claim in the newspaper report about procurement of bulletproof vests, tommy bars, handcuffs and other equipment by Parliament for use by its Protection Officers. Equipment that Protection Officers use is in line with their responsibilities.
The State of the Nation Address event which Parliament hosts brings together the three arms of state, members of the diplomatic corps and foreign guests, civil society representatives and members of the public. Security arrangements for the event, a shared function between Parliament and the security apparatuses of the state, are commensurate with the stature of the event.
Source : Parliament of South Africa