ANC welcomes suspension of EFF MPs

By Drum Digital
28 November 2014

The ANC has welcomed the suspension of EFF MPs from Parliament without salary.

"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 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 by conducting oversight over the executive through questions to the president.

He said they 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 commended the powers and privileges committee for the thoroughness, justness, fairness, and openness with which it fulfilled its obligations over a period of nine weeks.

He said the meticulous process had produced an outcome of the highest integrity and credibility, which 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," he said.

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