Parliament welcomes court ruling to uphold sanctions against EFF

2018-01-29 20:09
EFF leader Julius Malema. (Gallo Images)

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - Parliament's presiding officers have welcomed a Western Cape High Court ruling upholding the institution's right to discipline the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for disrupting a sitting of the National Assembly in 2014.

The court on Monday discharged a previous ruling, issued in December 2014, that interdicted Parliament from implementing sanctions against the EFF.

READ: New beady cameras to track EFF in Parliament

The sanctions included suspension without remuneration against EFF members following the now infamous question session with President Jacob Zuma in August 2014 that sparked the phrase "pay back the money".

"The court found that the Speaker was not obliged to ensure that the answers given by the President are 'meaningful'," Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Monday.

"It found that the Speaker had no power to determine how questions put to the President are answered."

'Chaos'

Parliament was happy that the court agreed that it was not an exaggeration to say the proceedings on the day had "descended into chaos due to the conduct of the applicants".

The rules of the National Assembly empowered the Speaker to apply the rules in such situations, in order to ensure that order and decorum are maintained.

"Parliament in its wisdom, designed and promulgated these rules," the ruling stated.

"The least expected of members of Parliament is to adhere to them, to enable Parliament as an institution to function and achieve whatever is scheduled for the session.

"Parties may challenge the rules but that must be done properly and in an orderly fashion in courts."

The court also confirmed that there was no constitutional or statutory impediment to the Speaker of the National Assembly occupying a leadership position within her political party.

Mbete was also national chairperson of the ANC at the time.

EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed to News24 on Monday that they will be appealing the judgment.

Read more on:    parliament  |  anc  |  eff  |  baleka mbete

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