EFF MPs disciplinary: More witnesses allowed

The ANC has allowed for more witnesses to be called into the disciplinary hearing of 20 EFF MPs.

FILE: The EFF's section in Parliament. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has agreed that more witnesses can be called in the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) disciplinary hearing.

Opposition parties threatened a walkout yesterday which led to an intense behind-closed doors talks by Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee.

The parties wanted their concerns about the fairness of the proceedings dealt with, including the fact that so far only one witness has testified.

The EFF MPs face charges of defying speaker Baleka Mbete and obstructing Parliament's proceedings after chanting "pay back the money" and refusing to leave the National Assembly chamber in August when President Jacob Zuma was answering questions in the house.

The 20 EFF MPs have withdrawn from the process, claiming it's a "kangaroo court" where the ANC will be judge, jury and executioner.

After hours of talks behind closed doors, the ANC's agreement to allow more witnesses defused the opposition's threat to pull out of the disciplinary process.

That would have left only ANC MPs to decide the fate of the EFF MPs, a replay of what happened with the Nkandla ad-hoc committee looking at the splurge of taxpayers' rands on Zuma's home.

But Eyewitness News understands ANC MPs drew the line when Mbete was listed as a witness despite her admission that she "lost it" when the red berets started chanting.