EFF to challenge 'kangaroo court'

The party has threatened to go to court to halt the Parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of 20 MPs.

FILE: Policemen break up a scuffle between EFF MPs and ANC members at Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 August 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are threatening to go to court for an urgent interdict to halt the Parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of 20 of their Members of Parliament (MPs).

The group has been served with an official notice to appear before Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee on Tuesday.

The multi-party committee has been tasked by National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete of investigating whether the MPs are in contempt of Parliament after the disruption of President Jacob Zuma's question time last month.

In a statement, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said the party has decided to urgently approach the courts to stop "the intention of the ANC to exclude the EFF from Parliament".

Shivambu referred to the Powers and Privileges Committee as a quasi-disciplinary process dominated and controlled by the ruling party.

He said the party will challenge what it describes as a "kangaroo court".

The opposition party denies its MPs defied Mbete's orders to leave the house during Zuma's chaotic question time last month as she did not refer to any of them or their party by name.

Mbete had to adjourn the sitting of the House when EFF MPs refused to sit down, after EFF leader Julius Malema asked Zuma when he would pay back the money spent on upgrading his Nkandla homestead.

The chanting was a reference to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the R246 million spent on upgrades to Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefited unduly" from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, and should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations.