Malema has cited the ANC’s unwillingness to drop charges against EFF MPs found guilty of misconduct after they heckled Zuma with “Pay Back the Money” chants in August last year as the real reason for the collapse of the deal brokered by religious leaders led by Rhema Bible Church’s pastor Ray McCauley.
The EFF said the ANC’s unwillingness to reinstate a deal struck by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and opposition parties was the motive behind the failure of the deal.
Part of the agreement was that sanctions against EFF MPs would be dropped.
“The ANC officials have once again opted for a tyranny of the majoritarian approach and arrogance with the religious leaders and undermined all what they had done to bring about common agreements and engagements in Parliament,” the EFF said in a statement.
However, The Citizen was reliably informed that the ANC was eager to have charges against EFF MPs dropped. However, Malema’s demanded Parliament to fire seven EFF MPs in exchange for not disrupting Zuma’s speech.
It is understood among the MPs whose expulsion Malema sought were Mpho Ramakatsa and Andile Mngxitama, who have openly led an internal rebellion against Malema.
It is believed the sole reason the EFF has not taken disciplinary action against its rebel MPs is that even if they were expelled from their party, it would be a long procedure to get them finally axed as MPs.
The Citizen can also reveal that EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee wrote to Parliament enquiring about the procedure to replace MPs. In his response to Gardee’s enquiry dated 27 January 2015, a copy of which The Citizen is in possession of, secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso referred Gardee to section 47(3) of the Constitution, which details how a person loses membership of the National Assembly.
The Act states that a person loses their seat if they are absent from the Assembly without permission for 15 or more consecutive sitting days without authorisation or ceases to be a member of the party that nominated him.
Xaso’s letter also indicates that “Section 47(3)(c) envisages that the expulsion of a member from his/her party to be final and does not operate if the person is merely suspended from the party or if there are outstanding internal processes or remedies available to the person to contest the expulsion.”
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi referred all enquiries to Gardee who did not answer several calls made to his mobile. ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa confirmed the EFF had made a demand for charges against its MPs to be dropped.
He however could neither deny nor confirm claims that the EFF had demanded the sacking of seven of its MPs from Parliament, only saying “the EFF cannot expect us to help them solve their own internal problems”.