EFF disciplinary: Julius Malema comes out with guns blazing

2014-10-07 12:37

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The parliamentary disciplinary hearing over the “pay back the money” protest was opened to the media this morning at the request of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

The live parliamentary television feed was also switched on for the public after all parties agreed.

There was a staccato start to proceedings today with the specially constituted Powers and Privileges Committee briefly considering the EFF’s request for the proceedings to be made public.

This was followed by two adjournments within the first two hours – one to find interpreters and then to consider procedural issues after EFF leader Julius Malema asked if he could make a statement on behalf of the group before any of them were asked to plead.

Clearly in a confrontational mood Malema, who ditched his red overalls and opted instead for a dark suit and white shirt, also objected to the fact that EFF MPs charged with misconduct had name tags on their desks.

He requested that all MPs in the room also have name tags.

The first person to be charged before committee chairperson Lemias Mashile was Floyd Shivambu, who had seven charges read out to him by initiator Darryl van Voore.

The misconduct charges relate to the disruptions that took place during President Jacob Zuma’s question time in the National Assembly on August 21.

EFF members have been accused of disobeying the speaker and being in contempt of Parliament.

According to the rules of Parliament, disciplinary proceedings are closed to the media “because the committee will be considering a matter affecting specific members of Parliament”. But the committee can be opened to the public on agreement of all parties.

Malema was due to be present at the Judicial Service Commission today, where judicial interviews are taking place for the Free State and Western Cape divisions of the high court. Malema became a member of the commission after being sworn in as an MP.

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