EFF disruption of National Assembly 'unprecedented'
Masibulele Xaso says the presiding officer in the National Assembly should be heard without interruption.
CAPE TOWN -Masibulele Xaso, secretary of the National Assembly, says the disruption of a Parliamentary session by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) was unprecedented.
Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee will today resume with its disciplinary action against the 20 MPs despite them boycotting the hearing.
The MPs staged a walkout on Tuesday saying they won't be subjected to what they called a 'kangaroo court' by the African National Congress.
Xaso was the first witness to testify at the hearing yesterday.
Yesterday, video footage was viewed in which National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete was shown repeatedly ordering EFF MPs to be seated.
Xaso says according to the rules of the house, the presiding officer in the assembly should be heard without interruption.
"In this instance, Mbete wasn't being heard."
He told the committee that if the speaker is of the opinion that a member is disregarding her authority, she can order them to leave the house.
The MPs heckled President Jacob Zuma during a question and answer session in Parliament on 21 August and Mbete had to ajourn the sitting of the house.
They chanted " pay back the money" in 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 MPs risk being suspended from Parliament for up to 14 working days if found guilty by the committee.