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Parliament: MPs to debate EFF conduct report

Baleka Mbete has called for a special sitting where a report on the EFF's conduct will be debated.

FILE: Speaker Baleka Mbete in Parliament on 19 November 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) are set to debate a report on the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s conduct today during a special sitting of the National Assembly called by speaker Baleka Mbete.

It will be the last sitting of the National Assembly for this year.

But during a meeting of Parliament's programming committee on Wednesday, the African National Congress (ANC) and some opposition MPs voiced concerns about the possibility of filibustering to delay the adoption of the report.

Twice the house descended into chaos when MPs used delaying tactics to avoid contentious debates.

EFF Parliamentarian Godrich Gardee responded to concerns that some MPs might use delaying tactics during the special sitting.

"Filibustering can also be done, even on any other day when there's actually nothing scary. If we just want to get into that we can."

But he was interrupted by Mbete, who asked, "Is there something scary?"

To which he responded, "That item one of the ANC."

The majority ANC-Powers and Privileges Committee has recommended the suspension without pay of a dozen EFF MPs who disrupted President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session in the National Assembly in August.

During political to-ing and fro-ing, marked by a failed truce, the committee's report is back on the National Assembly's agenda.

If the report is adopted, which is likely given the ANC's majority in the house, a dozen EFF MPs, including leader Julius Malema, face suspension without pay for between 14 and 30 days.

There'll also be a snap debate on the Eskom crisis.

But the big question is whether there'll be a repeat of the filibustering and name-calling that have marked recent sittings.

Parties clashed on Wednesday, while thrashing out today's programme, setting the scene for what could be another turbulent sitting.

Parliament's reputation has been battered by the mayhem that's erupted in recent sittings, with a new low reached when police in riot gear removed a woman, EFF MP and traded blows with other MPs earlier this month.

The opposition wants the president to come and answer MPs' questions.

The ANC says they're making it impossible for Zuma to account.

Today offers MPs a chance to show ordinary citizens their Parliament is not a circus but temperatures will be running high.