Parliamentary committee completes EFF conduct report

The report was adopted last night on the strength of the ANC’s majority in the committee.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema holds a news conference in Johannesburg on 1 August 2013. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Powers and Privileges Committee has adopted its final report, bringing the pending suspension of 12 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) a step closer.

EFF leader Julius Malema, chief whip Floyd Shivambu and national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi face a 30 day suspension without pay.

Six others face suspension without pay for 14 days.

The MPs were last week found guilty by the committee on a range of charges linked to the disruption of President Jacob Zuma's question time in August after chanting "pay back the money" and refusing to leave the National Assembly chamber.

The chanting was a reference to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the R246 million spent on upgrades to Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefitted unduly" from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, and should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations.

The final report was adopted last night on the strength of the African National Congress's majority in the committee.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Annelie Lotriet says her party didn't vote in favour.

"We opposed it because we feel the whole process was procedurally unfair. There were too many flaws in the process."

Lotriet says the DA pushed for a reprimand of the EFF MPs rather than their suspension.

The report is due to go to the National Assembly this week and once adopted, the suspension will kick in the following day.

The EFF has indicated it will take the matter to court.