EFF to go to court over MPs' suspensions

The EFF MPs who refused to leave Parliament after chanting "Pay back the money" to President Jacob Zuma. (David Harrison, M&G)

The EFF MPs who refused to leave Parliament after chanting "Pay back the money" to President Jacob Zuma. (David Harrison, M&G)

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will turn to the courts to stop Parliament’s suspension of 12 of its MPs, the party said in a statement on Friday.

“The EFF will be approaching the court for an urgent interdict against Parliament’s illegal decision to suspend its leadership,” said EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“Parliament has not issued letters of suspension to the EFF MPs yet, and thus the EFF awaits these letters in order to file court papers.”

On Thursday night the National Assembly adopted a report calling for the suspension of 12 EFF MPs. The report recommends that EFF leader Julius Malema, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu, Godrich Gardee, Mpho Ramakatsa, Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala, and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi be suspended without pay for 30 days.

Fellow EFF MPs Elsabe Louw, Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela, Nthako Matiase, Hlengiwe Maxon, Magdalene Moonsamy, and Andile Mngxitama are to be suspended for a fortnight. Eight more EFF MPs were ordered to submit a verbal apology to the House.

The party has indicated it will not tender any apologies for the August 21 incident, in which President Jacob Zuma’s question time in Parliament was disrupted when EFF MPs chanted “Pay back the money”.

Pay back the money
They were referring to public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report which stated Zuma should pay back a portion of the R246-million spent on so-called security upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The EFF reiterates that it shall never apologise for asking Jacob Zuma as to when is he paying back the money,” Ndlozi said.
“Furthermore, the EFF remains very proud of its MPs for restoring teeth to parliamentary executive oversight.”

Ndlozi said the party was confident a court would find the disciplinary process leading up to the suspensions procedurally unfair. “We shall approach the courts because we believe that in front of a sober judge, with no Luthuli [House] mandate, and an uncontrollable ambition for promotion to a ministerial job, our action will be vindicated,” he said.

“The court will confirm that the EFF went through a kangaroo court in serious violation of principles of natural justice.”

Parliament was unable to immediately confirm when the suspension notices would be served on the affected MPs. – Sapa

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