EFF refuses to return to disciplinary hearing

Julius Malema claims the ANC is acting as complainant, judge and jury.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighter Members of Parliament (MPs) say they will not return to the Parliamentary hearing on their conduct in the National Assembly as they won't be subjected to the "kangaroo court" of the African National Congress (ANC).

The MPs walked out of Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee hearing today after they were charged with misconduct for shouting " pay back the money" at President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly on 21 August.

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.

Twenty MPs risk being suspended from Parliament for up to 14 working days if found guilty by the committee.

EFF leader Julius Malema has claimed the ANC is acting as complainant, judge and jury in the case as its members dominated the committee.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they won't go back to the hearing.

"We are no employees of the ANC and Baleka Mbete's plantation. We work for the people and they should have discontinued the process. We are not going to be part of it. We are not going to be subjected to the kangaroo court of the ANC."

The EFF believes the committee is in no position to make a fair and just conclusion as it says most of the committee's members are ANC members.

The committee is also expected to analyse video footage of the August incident.

Earlier the committee declared the disciplinary hearing into the EFF's conduct would be open to the public, saying that it would be in the public's interest.

The EFF also tried to stop the hearing from going ahead with an application in the Western Cape High Court last week, but their bid was unsuccessful.

The EFF's lawyer was hard-pressed to prove that the application was urgent and that the committee was biased.

The Nkandla debacle is also being dealt with by another Parliamentary committee tasked with looking into the Nkandla scandal.

The ad-hoc committee made headlines when opposition MPs withdrew from the process after wrangling over whether the Public Protector's findings should be enforced.