State Security Minister David Mahlobo could not go unpunished and should be summoned before parliament to explain why he allowed a signal jamming device to be used inside the National Assembly, the DA said.
This comes after the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling that the jamming of telecommunications signals during last year’s state of the nation address was both unconstitutional and unlawful.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen welcomed the ruling. “This is precisely the point of order I raised on the day . . . the signal jamming was a direct violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. My sentiments were echoed by DA leader Mmusi Maimane,” he said.
Maimane had said: “We want South Africans to hear ideas. We want them to hear the state of the nation address. We simply cannot proceed unless that jamming device is disconnected.”
Steenhuisen said: “Parliaments hould summon Mahlobo to explain himself. His attempts to cloak parliament and hide its activities from the public are outrageous and cannot go unpunished.”
The Right2Know campaign, who were the third appellants in the matter, said yesterday’s judgment was a resounding endorsement of the principles of openness and transparency.
The court ruled that democracy in South Africa was predicated on open government, in which all citizens participated.
Mahlobo’s spokesman, Brian Dube, said state security had already apologised for the incident last year. Parliament said it had noted the judgment and would now study it.