EFF: New Parliament rule is unconstitutional

The party has reacted to the expulsion and subsequent suspension of their leader from Parliament.

FILE: A screengrab of members of parliamentary protection services removing EFF leader Julius Malema from the National Assembly on 9 September 2015 after he refused to withdraw his comment that deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was a murderer.

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says its leader, Julius Malema, was not disrupting the proceedings of the house when he was ejected from the National Assembly yesterday.

Malema was forcibly removed by members of the Parliamentary Protection Services for refusing to withdraw the remarks he made about Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during a debate on the Marikana tragedy, when he called him a murderer.

When House Chairperson Grace Boroto ordered Malema to leave the House, he refused and was ejected.

"Call them. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not leaving," he said.

Malema's become the first casualty of a new rule adopted by the National Assembly to clamp down on Members Parliament who disrupt proceedings or pose a physical threat to other members.

But his party says not only is the rule unconstitutional and unlawful, it was incorrectly applied because Malema wasn't disrupting the business of the house.

Malema's been suspended for five working days which means he is only allowed back on the parliamentary precinct next Wednesday.

Last month, EFF said it had filed papers in the Western Cape High court in a bid to have the new rule declared unlawful.

But yesterday's drama is giving rise to an urgent application to have the EFF leader's suspension overturned and to stop Parliament from enforcing the new rule again.