Cellphone signal block in Parliament illegal – Icasa

President Jacob Zuma

This is according to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

This comes after the incident of jamming of communication signals on cellphones during the joint sitting of Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s State Of the Nation Address.

The incident prompted the majority of members of Parliament to stand up and chant, “Bring back the signal”. The incident delayed proceedings as opposition parties refused to proceed with the business of the day without cellphone signals. One member of the Democratic Alliance who did not want to be named said he believed it was an executive decision to block the signal.

Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said Icasa had noted the purported jamming of communication signals during the joint sitting of parliament. He said National Security cluster departments may, where supported by relevant security legislation, deploy the use of jammers in relation to, among others, state security functions.

Maleka said, “The authority welcomes the speaker’s [Baleka Mbethe] pronouncement that Parliament will investigate this matter. The authority will liaise with parliament on the outcome of the investigation. Should it deem it necessary, the authority may also institute its own investigation into the matter.”

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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