Opposition threatens to withdraw from EFF inquiry

Julius Malema and 19 EFF members last week withdrew from the process saying the hearing won't be fair.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties are threatening to withdraw from the disciplinary hearing of 20 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs), saying it is not acting procedurally.

EFF leader Julius Malema and his 19 fellow red berets withdrew from the process last week claiming it was a 'kangaroo court' and that they would not get a fair hearing.

Now the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) are saying they will also walk away if their concerns aren't urgently addressed.

Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee is tasked with deciding whether the EFF MPs are guilty of contempt of Parliament after President Jacob Zuma's Parliamentary question time on 21 August was brought to a rowdy halt.

The EFF is in trouble for chanting " pay back the money" during Zuma's question and answer time in the National Assembly.

They were referring to the portion of taxpayers' money spent on upgrades to the president's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The opposition parties raised their concerns in a letter to committee chair, Lemias Mashile. They are questioning the fairness of the process and warn they will consider their options if their concerns aren't addressed.

DA MP Annelie Lotriet says, "We have said we need urgent attention to this and if it is not addressed, we will have to reconsider our participation in this address."

The opposition parties say only one witness has been called yet the committee is set to hear closing arguments on Wednesday.

They also want Malema's 89-point submission to the committee to be discussed before and not after it will deliberate on its findings.