#PayBackTheMoney verdict purely political – EFF

The 20 EFF MPs found guilty of charges stemming from their heckling of President Jacob Zuma over his Nkandla home will not plead in mitigation of their sanctions.

“The EFF is not moved, neither is it bewildered by the verdict of this [Parliament’s powers and privileges] committee because its whole work was purely political and a mere fulfilment of the ANC mandate,” said the party today.

“The EFF will further not appear for the mitigation of sanctions because it has from the beginning rejected the whole process as illegitimate and in violation of principles of natural justice.

“The EFF will await the committee to table its report to the plenary of the National Assembly where it will challenge its legitimacy, failing which it will take the matter to court.”

The committee found Economic Freedom Fighters Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu and his colleague Mpho Ramakatsa guilty of seven charges each, and EFF leader Julius Malema and the party’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of four charges each.

The rest of the group, who chanted “pay back the money” at Zuma in the National Assembly during presidential question time on August 21, were found guilty of between one and six charges, committee chairperson Lemias Mashile said earlier today.

“It has been a lengthy discussion on Monday that took us into the night. Eventually the committee reached a conclusion that the charges that the 20 members of the National Assembly are facing have been proved and these charges stick to them and they are found guilty on those charges,” Mashile told reporters.

These charges ranged from refusing to obey an order by the Speaker to sit down or leave the chamber, to creating a disturbance in Parliament and interfering with the functions of the legislature.

Mashile said the EFF MPs would be given an opportunity on Friday to plead in mitigation of sentencing.

The party said Malema made it plain that his party refused to take any part in the disciplinary process, in a submission read to the committee on October 7.

Mashile declined to set out the punishment that could be imposed on the EFF’s members, but according to the parliamentary rules it includes suspension from the legislature for 14 working days.

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