The EFF receiving 'disproportionate' media coverage

Former DA Leader Tony Leon says this isn't the first time a smaller opposition is receiving more attention.

Former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon says the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has received a disproportionate share of media coverage over the last few weeks.

EFF leader Julius Malema and his 19 fellow EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) are in trouble for disrupting President Jacob Zuma's question time in the National Assembly last month by chanting "pay back the money".

They were referring to the portion of taxpayer's money spent on upgrades to the president's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Leon, who is now a columnist, says this isn't the first time a smaller opposition is receiving more attention than the dominant opposition party.

"Twenty years ago, it was kind of the same with the Democratic Party which had only several seats. Over time, the party got far more attention than the National Party was getting as an opposition."

On Tuesday, the EFF launched a stinging attack on National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Malema's party said Mbete's latest comments about the EFF's conduct in Parliament will compromise the objectivity of a Parliamentary inquiry into the matter, led by Parliament's Powers and Privileges committee.

She began Tuesday's sitting of the National Assembly by warning MPs that "anarchy" won't be tolerated.

The Speaker said the disruptions were unprecedented, but she denied calling in riot police to deal with the EFF.

At the same time, the inquiry into the EFF's conduct 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.

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