EFF: Respond or face legal action

2014-09-01 13:48
Baleka Mbete (File, Sapa)

Baleka Mbete (File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - The EFF have given Speaker Baleka Mbete until 14:00 to respond to their ultimatum to halt suspension proceedings against the party or face a legal challenge, MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said on Monday.

"We have given Baleka Mbete until two to respond, because she asked for an extension," Ndlozi told Sapa.

In the meanwhile Parliament's powers and privileges committee was scheduled to meet at 14:00 to discuss the Economic Freedom Fighters' raucous disruption of presidential question time in the National Assembly on 21 August.

Mbete referred the matter to the committee, in addition to writing letters to all 25 EFF MPs in the National Assembly asking why they should not be suspended for up to a fortnight for disrupting proceedings in the chamber.

‘Pay back the money’

The committee would meet in-camera, Parliament's press office said, and report to the National Assembly once it had considered the issue.

In an unprecedented protest, EFF MPs chanted "pay back the money" after party leader Julius Malema asked President Jacob Zuma when he would heed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation that he repay state funds spent on his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal that did not pertain to security measures.

Mbete subsequently adjourned the sitting and threatened to have them physically removed from the House.

She has been widely expected to propose to the Assembly on Tuesday that the EFF members be suspended.

Last week, Malema said his party would pre-empt such a move by asking the high court for an urgent interdict preventing Mbete from expelling them.

Seriousness of the situation

In their responding letters to her, sent on Friday, the party said she had failed to name them when she asked members who were "not serious" to leave the chamber.

This did not apply to them, Malema argued, because they were indeed serious about holding the president to account for spending R246m of public money on Nkandla.

The former ANC Youth League leader has been vociferous in his support for Mandonsela as the ruling party took aim at her last month for warning Zuma that he had failed to heed her findings on Nkandla.

On Friday, Malema accused the ANC of doing everything it could to undermine her office.

Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  mbuyiseni ndlozi  |  baleka mbete  |  parliament 2014  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade

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