EFF slams Mbete for ‘losing it’

Baleka Mbete admitted that she "lost it" when EFF MP’s disrupted last month’s Parliamentary session.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete's admission that she "lost it" on the day it's Members of Parliament (MPs) disrupted the house, proves it's been right about her being too emotional and that her position within the African National Congress (ANC) clouds her judgement as a presiding officer.

Mbete admitted, during an event in Rosebank last night, that she "lost it" when EFF MP's disrupted last month's Parliamentary session.

She adjourned the sitting when the EFF MP's refused to sit down and leader Julius Malema asked President Jacob Zuma directly when he would "pay back the money" spent on his private Nkandla homestead in Kwazulu-Natal.

The question was a reference to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the R246 million spent on upgrades at Nkandla.

Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefitted 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.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says, "We welcome the concession, but she's responsible for the collapse of the house on 21 August."

He says it has always been the EFF's position that she gets emotional, clouded and bias.

Earlier, the EFF said they'll be guided by the courts on whether or not 20 of their MPs will appear before Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee.

The committee handles disciplinary matters involving Parliamentarians.

The 20 MPs on Tuesday were served with official notices to appear before the committee.

But in a sharply worded statement, the red berets labelled the committee a "kangaroo court".

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu referred to the committee as a quasi-disciplinary process dominated and controlled by the ruling party.

Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution says Parliament does have the power to punish MPs who break the rules.

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.