Parly committee told to take tough action against EFF MPs guilty of contempt

The 16 members were charged after storming Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at the podium when he was delivering his Budget vote in July 2019.

EFF MPs are thrown out during Pravin Gordhan's Public Enterprises budget vote. Picture: Parliament YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s powers and privileges committee has been told to take tough action against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs found guilty of contempt of Parliament.

On Wednesday, the committee decided that the 16 EFF MPs found guilty of contempt of Parliament should be suspended for 30 days and have their salaries docked for 14 days to a month.

The 16 members were charged after storming Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at the podium when he was delivering his Budget vote in July 2019.

The committee heard that two EFF MPs, Sam Matiase and Primrose Sonti, were also found guilty of similar charges in 2014.

Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi, the initiator in the hearing, said that it looked like the two MPs didn’t learn their lesson from 2014.

"These penalties from 2014 clearly didn't deter them from engaging in grossly disorderly conduct again in 2019, once again bringing the proceedings in the House to a halt."

She recommended that Sonti and Matiase be suspended for a month with no pay.

Mayosi said that the other 14 MPs should also be facing a harsh sentence.

"The multiple and deliberate acts of serious contempt warrant an appropriately serious penalty. I submit that anything short of a sufficiently serious penalty will signal that the rules of the National Assembly, which rules that the members of the House collectively imposed upon themselves, may not be ignored."

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