EFF MPs suspended for disrupting Parliament

The ANC said it welcomed the suspension of the Economic Freedom Fighter MPs. (David Harrison, M&G)

The ANC said it welcomed the suspension of the Economic Freedom Fighter MPs. (David Harrison, M&G)

The ANC said it welcomed the suspension of the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) MPs, which was recommended by the powers and privileges committee following the fracas in Parliament on August 21.

“The office of the ANC chief whip [Stone Sizani] welcomes the adoption [on Thursday night] of the report and the recommendations of the powers and privileges committee that conducted a hearing into allegations of misconduct by 20 EFF Members of Parliament,” spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

“All the 20 MPs were found guilty of contempt of Parliament for their participation in the highly disruptive and disorderly conduct on 21 August 2014.”

The EFF had threatened court action should the National Assembly approve a recommendation by the committee to suspend its parliamentarians without pay, including EFF leader Julius Malema.

‘Pay back the money’
The 20 members of the Economic Freedom Fighters heckled President Jacob Zuma during question time. They shouted “pay back the money” and effectively halted proceedings. Mothapo said their conduct obstructed the House from performing its scheduled business.

He said the ANC agreed with the decision of the National Assembly that the MPs’ conduct constituted contempt of Parliament in terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act and therefore warranted the harshest sanctions permitted in the act.

“Various sanctions have thus been imposed upon the 20 MPs in accordance with the categories of charges for which they were found guilty. The first group, which includes the ringleaders, [EFF leader] Julius Malema and [EFF chief whip] Floyd Shivambu, has been suspended for a period of 30 days without remuneration.

“The second group has been suspended for a period of 14 days without remuneration.
The third group was ordered to apologise to the House and fined an equivalent of a 14 days’ salary and any allowance payable to them,” said Moloto.

He believed the decision would withstand the test of any court of law.

“It is for this reason that we believe the institution should not be fazed by the desperate and legally unsound court challenge threatened by the EFF. We are confident that the case would be thrown out the same way their initial attempt to interdict the hearing from taking place was discarded by the Western Cape High Court on 29 September.” – Sapa

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