EFF challenges 'tainted' disciplinary charges

The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the charges seek to intimidate its members so they don’t raise debate.

FILE: The EFF has gone to court to challenge disciplinary charges against 20 of its MPs. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has gone to court to challenge disciplinary charges against 20 of its Members of Parliament (MPs) who are accused of disrupting the National Assembly.

EFF leader Julius Malema's red berets are accused of heckling President Jacob Zuma during his question and answer session on 21 August.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka 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 "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 their lawyers are bringing an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court today.

"We have filed an urgent court application for the disciplinary hearing against the EFF MPs to be discontinued."

He says the disciplinary process is tainted.

"It seeks to intimidate us into submission so we don't raise robust questions and debate."

The 20 MPs were last week served with official notices to appear before Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee on charges relating to the disruption of Zuma's question time.

They are scheduled to appear before a disciplinary hearing tomorrow.