Sanctions against 20 EFF MPs

27 November 2014

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip welcomes the adoption of the report and the recommendations of the Powers and Privileges Committee that conducted a hearing into allegations of misconduct by 20 EFF Members of Parliament. All the 20 MPs were found guilty of contempt of Parliament for their participation in the highly disruptive and disorderly conduct on 21 August 2014. Their conduct obstructed the House from performing its scheduled business by conducting oversight over the Executive through questions to the President.

We agree with the decision of the National Assembly that the MPs` conduct constituted contempt of Parliament in terms of the Powers, Privileges & Immunities of Parliament & Provincial Legislatures Act and therefore warrants harshest sanctions permitted in the Act. Various sanctions have thus been imposed upon the 20 MPs in accordance with the categories of charges for which they were found guilty. The first group, which includes the ringleaders, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, has been suspended for a period of 30 days without remuneration. The second group has been suspended for a period of 14 days without remuneration. The third group was ordered to apologise to the House and fined an equivalent of a 14 days` salary and any allowance payable to them.

We commend the Powers and Privileges Committee for the thoroughness, justness, fairness and openness with which it has fulfilled its obligations over a period of 9 weeks. This meticulous process has indeed produced the outcome of highest integrity, credibility and which will undoubtedly withstand the test of any court of law. It is for this reason that we believe the institution should not be fazed by the desperate and legally unsound court challenge threatened by the EFF. We are confident that the case would be thrown out the same way their initial attempt to interdict the hearing from taking place was discarded by the Western Cape High Court on 29 September.

The firm decision taken by the House today sends a strong message that anarchy, disruption, total disregard for the rules of the House and the rulings of the presiding officers cannot be tolerated by Parliament. The decision is a step in the right direction towards preserving the decorum of the House, arrest its degeneration and restore the confidence of the people of South Africa in the institution. It is indeed a source of grave concern that the creeping anarchy since the 2014 election has put this institution in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It is important that this Parliament is allowed to direct its energies towards fulfilling its core constitutional obligation, which includes public consideration of issues of public importance affecting our society, holding the executive to account without fear or favour, and bettering the conditions of our people. This is how the electorate will judge their representatives, not by the volume of their howling, the number of their gimmicks or the size of mayhem and anarchy they cause.

As these 20 EFF MPs begin to serve their sanctions from tomorrow, 28 November, it is our hope that they will use the period to deeply reflect on their conduct in this institution and mend their wayward ways.

ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ANC CHIEF WHIP

Enquiries:
Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930