Parly to oppose EFF court application

The EFF filed urgent court papers challenging sanctions against 20 of its MPs.

FILE: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 - Parliament says it will oppose the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s urgent application to have the suspensions of its Members Parliament (MPs) set aside.

Julius Malema's party has filed urgent court papers challenging sanctions against 20 MPs who shouted " Pay back the money" during the President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session in the National Assembly in August.

The chanting was reference to upgrades at the president's Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.

A report by The Powers and Privileges Committee, which found the MPs guilty of contempt, was adopted by the National Assembly last week.

Twelve of the 20 EFF MP's have been suspended without pay for between 14 and 30 days.

The rest were each fined an amount equivalent to two weeks' salary.

Now the EFF is going to court to have the sanctions set aside.

The party reportedly also wants the court to remove National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete from her position.

Parliament says it was served with papers on Monday.

The matter has been set down for argument on 10 December.

The suspensions took effect last month, which means MPs won't be allowed to attend the President's State of the Nation Address when Parliament reopens.

Opposition parties on Thursday slammed the report finding the EFF MPs guilty of contempt of Parliament as flawed, accusing the African National Congress of using the Powers and Privileges Committee to serve its political ends.

But after an attempted EFF filibuster saw temperatures rise, the report was adopted.