EFF MPs found guilty by Parliamentary inquiry

Lemias Mashile says the committee met until late last night before "sufficient consensus" was reached.

FILE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is seen leaving Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 August 2014 with EFF MPs. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and 19 fellow EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) have been found guilty as charged by Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee.

Committee chairperson Lemias Mashile says the committee met until late on Monday night before what he calls "sufficient consensus" was reached on the guilt of each of the MPs.

Disciplinary proceedings were launched soon after the disruption of President Jacob Zuma's question time on 21 August but the EFF MPs withdrew from the process, claiming it was a 'kangaroo court'.

The EFF MPs face charges of defying National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and obstructing Parliament's proceedings after chanting "pay back the money" and refusing to leave the National Assembly chamber.

The 20 EFF MPs received letters today informing them they've been found guilty.

Mashile says the committee will reconvene on Friday.

The EFF MPs have been invited to appear or write to the committee making arguments in mitigation.

Mashile says it's up to the EFF MPs whether or not they take up this offer before the committee decides on their punishment.

Last week, the committee heard final arguments in the case against the EFF MPs, prompting a walkout by the party's representatives who complained it was not fair to do so when not all witnesses had testified.