EFF at odds with Parly over suggested new rules

The proposed rule amendment will see disruptive MPs being automatically suspended.

FILE: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs look on as President Jacob Zuma answers questions in the National Assembly on 11 March 2015. Picture: Screengrab/YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's push to overhaul the rule book has placed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) firmly at odds with other political parties in the National Assembly.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete called a special Rules Committee meeting today after President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session was derailed by the EFF last week.

The EFF has come out sharply against a proposed rule amendment which will see disruptive MPs being automatically suspended after being removed by Parliamentary Protection Services.

Other political parties broadly support the amendment.

The EFF says MPs should not be arbitrarily removed for the things they say in the house at the behest of presiding officers, who are members of the ruling party.

The party's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says due process should always be followed.

"But it shouldn't happen arbitrarily; even murderers, their side of the story gets to be heard."

The ANC's Mmamoloko Kubayi today suggested police officers be brought in to bolster the capacity of Parliament's Protection Services.

"If you are to look at the courts the same thing applies. There are police officers deployed there but under the command of the judiciary."

But both the DA and IFP were uncomfortable with that proposal.

The National Assembly Rules Committee has decided to refer the proposal back to a subcommittee to iron out the details.

The matter will be back on the agenda after the upcoming recess.