'EFF deliberately disregarded rules of Parliament'

The committee ruled EFF MPs deliberately disregarded Parliament’s rules by heckling Jacob Zuma.

EFF leader Julius Malema makes his representation to Parliament's powers and privileges committee in Cape Town, Tuesday, 7 October 2014. Also pictured is Floyd Shivambu (L). Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) leader Julius Malema and 19 of his party's Members of Parliament (MP)s deliberately disregarded the rules of Parliament when they disrupted President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session on 21 August.

That was the thrust of closing argument in the disciplinary hearing against the red berets on Tuesday.

Committee chairperson Lemias Mashile ruled that independent initiator, Cape Town lawyer Randall van Voore, deliver his submission in spite of protests from the EFF's representative on the committee.

Two EFF MPs walked out after complaining it was un-procedural to hear final argument before hearing all witnesses.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo and his telecommunications counterpart Siyabonga Cwele were to have testified about their negotiations with the EFF during their sit-in in the National Assembly chamber but are out of the country.

Mahlobo sent an affidavit instead.

Van Voore spelt out the charges and the evidence against the EFF MPs.

"The affected honourable members, notwithstanding the speaker's instructions, refused to leave the chamber. That refusal was not accidental."

Concerns about the fairness of proceedings raised by the EFF were dismissed by Mashile.

"It is very fair because it is provided in the rules."

The committee must now decide on sanctions.

It can impose suspension without pay of up to 30 days.