EFF to approach High Court to halt suspension of MPs
If suspended, EFF MPs will be barred from entering Parliament’s precinct or taking part in its programmes.
CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters ( EFF) say they will approach the High Court for an urgent interdict against National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Parliament to stop the suspension of their Members of Parliament (MPs).
EFF leader Julius Malema says all 25 MPs will respond to letters received from Mbete in which she asked them to explain why they should not be suspended while a Parliamentary probe into their conduct is underway.
Speaking to journalists in Parliament, Malema said the party rejects the attempt to suspend them.
The controversial politician said they've asked Mbete for an assurance that she will not ask the National Assembly on Tuesday to approve the suspension of its MPs.
He said if no such assurance is forthcoming, they'll go to court.
Malema said Mbete did not specify any MPs by name or even their party when she ordered people "not serious about the business of the house" to leave last Thursday.
He said they started chanting "pay back the money" only after she suspended proceedings.
Mbete had to adjourn the sitting of the House last Thursday when EFF MPs refused to sit down, after Malema asked Zuma when he would pay back the money spent on upgrading his Nkandla homestead.
At one point, it appeared as if riot police were going to forcibly remove EFF members from the house.
The procedure for deciding cases of misconduct or contempt of Parliament allows for MPs to be suspended for no longer than 14 days if they're likely to interfere with witnesses or the allegations against them are of a very serious nature.
If suspended, EFF MPs will be barred from entering Parliament's precinct or taking part in its programmes without the speaker's permission.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance's Chief Whip John Steenhuisen has told Eyewitness News that suspending the party's MPs would be a step too far.
"It means that their voice will be lost in Parliament for that period. I don't think that's in the democratic interest."