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EFF parliamentary probe to take five days

Those tasked with the EFF's #PayBackTheMoney probe have been told to deal with the matter speedily

EFF leader Julius Malema (L) exchanges words with ANC Youth League national task team member Braam Hanekom (R) on Thursday, 21 August 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the conduct of Economic Freedom Fighters'(EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) has used its first meeting to thrash out the details of the inquiry.

It also emerged on Monday that party leader Julius Malema and 19 fellow MPs won't be suspended pending the inquiry.

Malema had threatened legal action, should speaker Baleka Mbete fail to give them the assurance they won't be suspended at today's sitting of the National Assembly.

The EFF MPs are accused of disrupting President Jacob Zuma's question session in the National Assembly chamber last month by chanting ' pay back the money' in reference to the upgrades to the president's Nkandla home.

Members of the powers and privileges committee spent a large portion of their meeting on Monday, quibbling about administrative issues.

The multi-party committee struggled to agree on almost every issue, ranging from the time frame of the inquiry, to who should be appointed to lead evidence against the MPs accused of disrupting Parliament.

Opposition MPs also used the meeting to appeal for the inquiry to be open to the media.

Committee chairperson Lemias Mashile says the inquiry will be held behind closed doors.

"We will continue and engage the legal status in Parliament but in terms of the rules, the work of this committee is behind closed doors."

After a four-hour meeting on Monday, it appeared most of the administrative hurdles had been cleared.

The inquiry will be held over five days and committee members have been told to deal with the matter speedily.

The committee will report to the National Assembly on its findings and recommendations once the inquiry is completed.