South Africa 7.10.2014 07:23 am

Parliament committee probes EFF disruption

FILE PICTURE: EFF Commander in Chief in Parliament on 21 August 2014 shortly before the session was postponed by the Speaker Baleka Mbete.

FILE PICTURE: EFF Commander in Chief in Parliament on 21 August 2014 shortly before the session was postponed by the Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Parliament’s Powers and Privileges Committee will commence on Tuesday with disciplinary proceedings against 20 EFF members, including leader Julius Malema, who heckled President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.

The committee is tasked with probing the actions of Malema and his fellow MPs and whether this constituted contempt of the legislature.

Economic Freedom Fighters spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said on Monday that all 20 MPs would appear before parliament.

“We are appearing tomorrow. Everybody will be there,” Ndlozi said.

The MPs face charges of disrupting and displaying contempt for the National Assembly after shouting “pay back the money” at Zuma, after Malema questioned the president about Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s directive to reimburse the state for luxuries added to his Nkandla home.

The EFF last week sought an urgent interdict to stop the process, claiming that the powers and privileges committee were likely to be biased because the majority of its members are from the ANC.

The application was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court last Monday after their lawyer, who was briefed shortly before the hearing, conceded that he could not substantiate the merit or the urgency of the matter.

The MPs risk being suspended from the National Assembly for up to 14 working days if found guilty.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said on August 26, that she was considering suspending the MPs.

EFF members would be given an opportunity to provide Mbete with written reasons why they should not be suspended.

Sapa

 

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