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Parly says it's ready move ahead with probe into EFF SONA disruption matter

EFF MPs were referred to the committee for disrupting the National Assembly when its members objected to former President FW de Klerk’s presence at SONA earlier this year.

FILE: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema objects as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attempts to deliver his State of the Nation Address at Parliament in Cape Town on 13 February 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Parliament says it is prepared to move ahead with its investigation into Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members of Parliament (MPs) accused of disrupting the State of the Nation Address (SONA) earlier this year.

The powers and privileges committee met on Tuesday to hear legal opinions on what steps to take.

EFF MPs were referred to the committee for disrupting the National Assembly when its members objected to former President FW de Klerk’s presence at SONA.

The committee met for the first time in six months following lengthy delays in sourcing legal opinion on the matter.

Parliament’s legal advisor Advocate Thiloshni Gangen said the committee will first have to question members of the EFF identified in video footage to hear their side of the story before a full inquiry can go ahead.

“We need to give the members an opportunity to give their version of events. Its only once they have had an opportunity to respond, can we then proceed to determine whether there had been any contempt. It’s the ‘audi alteram partem’ law.”

But EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the matter should be closed because what they did was not outside of the rules.

“The matter is closed, there is nothing you can do about the SONA. Nothing outside the rules happened – nothing. Members raised points of order as it is their right; they were told to sit down, or they were told their point of order were wrong. It’s not just EFF members.”

An advocate from the Cape bar has now been appointed before the committee drafts its programme.

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