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EFF's Parliamentary disciplinary hearing postponed

Baleka Mbete had to adjourn the sitting of the House on 21 August when EFF MPs refused to sit down.

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 - Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee has postponed today's disciplinary hearing into the conduct of 20 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) following an 11thhour legal challenge.

Even though the party's bid to interdict the hearing was unsuccessful, the committee's chairperson decided to postpone the hearing for a week.

The MPs are accused of heckling President Jacob Zuma during a question and answer session in the National Assembly last month.

The party's application was heard in the Western Cape High Court on Monday but it was unsuccessful.

The EFF's legal counsel conceded he was hard-pressed to prove both the need for urgent relief, and that the committee was biased.

Shortly before the judge ruled on the matter, the court was told Parliament had decided to postpone disciplinary proceedings by a week.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had to adjourn the sitting of the House on 21 August 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.