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EFF disciplinary hearing calls second witness

Regina Mhlomi is giving evidence in the disciplinary proceedings against Malema and 19 other EFF MPs.

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

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Sergeant-at arms, Regina Mhlomi, says she pleaded with Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema on the day that President Jacob Zuma's question time was brought to a rowdy halt.

Mhlomi is giving evidence in the disciplinary proceedings against Malema and 19 other EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) who are accused of disrupting the proceedings of the house and defying Speaker Baleka Mbete's orders.

African National Congress (ANC) MPs on Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee agreed to call more witnesses after a threatened walkout by opposition parties last week.

Video footage of the dramatic events of 21 August was re-played and Mhlomi was asked to explain what was happening.

Mhlomi says she told Malema the speaker had ordered the EFF MPs to leave the chamber, but he insisted they would remain.

"I then started almost pleading. I said 'Mr Malema please, it's very difficult for me to approach you like this, please don't make it more difficult than it is'."

Mhlomi says it was clear that the members the speaker was calling to be ejected from the house were the EFF MPs as they were shouting and banging helmets on their desks.

Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele and his state security counterpart David Mahlobo are also on the list of those to be called to testify but are both currently out of the country.

Parliament's Information Communications Technology section head Ravi Poliah was the first witness called.

He said no problems were reported with electronic equipment used by MPs in the National Assembly chamber on 21 August.

Poliah testified because Malema claimed that although he pressed a request to speak button during Zuma's question time, Mbete failed to recognise him.

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