EFF: How can hearing proceed without key witnesses?

2014-10-28 12:38

Two EFF MPs walked out of Parliament’s powers and privileges committee today after objecting to the process unfolding in the disciplinary hearing of 20 of their fellow MPs.

Before closing arguments could be heard, Economic Freedom Fighters MP Diliza Twala told the committee he was not comfortable with proceeding without the evidence of key witnesses.

Twala wanted two ministers, who have as yet been unavailable, to testify in the hearing before closing arguments could be heard.

“How do you then arrive at a conclusion?” he asked when committee chairperson Lemias Mashile told him a report outlining when the ministers would be available would be given to MPs at a later stage.

Twala and his EFF colleague Abner Mathloko would not accept this and stormed out of the hearing.

The two ministers are State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

The two had tried to negotiate with EFF leader Julius Malema, to no avail, during the EFF’s disruption of the National Assembly during President Jacob Zuma’s question time on August 21.

Closing arguments began shortly after the two EFF MPs left the committee room. There are no EFF members left on the committee.

The 20 EFF MPs were also not in attendance after they earlier refused to participate in proceedings.

Malema and 19 fellow EFF MPs face contempt of Parliament charges after they chanted “pay back the money” at Zuma while he was answering questions in the National Assembly. They were referring to the R246 million spent on so-called security upgrades to his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal home.

They refused to leave the House when Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them to.

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