The EFF has filed papers with the Constitutional Court challenging the suspension of some of its MPs by the National Assembly’s powers and privileges committee, the party said on Friday.
“This is following the refusal by the Western Cape High Court to hear the matter…,” Economic Freedom Fighters spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.
All attempts by Sapa to confirm this with the Western Cape court on Friday afternoon proved unsuccessful.
Sanctions were imposed on 20 EFF MPs for disrupting President Jacob Zuma’s question time in the National Assembly on August 21.
On November 28, EFF leader Julius Malema, chief whip Floyd Shivambu, Godrich Gardee, Mpho Ramakatsa, Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala, and Ndlozi were suspended without pay for 30 days.
Fellow EFF MPs Elsabe Louw, Ngwanamakwetle Mashabela, Nthako Matiase, Hlengiwe Maxon, Magdalene Moonsamy, and Andile Mngxitama, were suspended for a fortnight, also without pay.
Eight more EFF MPs were ordered to make a verbal apology to the House.
The 30-day suspensions expire on December 28, and the 14-day suspensions expire on Friday.
Ndlozi said the EFF case brought before the Constitutional Court went beyond the question of the suspension of EFF MPs. It also raised two fundamental issues in the country’s democracy.
“Firstly, we have asked the court to pronounce on the suitability of Baleka Mbete, who is the national chairperson of the ANC, to hold the position of Speaker of Parliament, which requires impartiality.
“Secondly, the Constitutional Court will be asked to pronounce once and for all on the status of remedial action prescribed by the public protector and that Zuma has no option but to pay back the money he stole from the South African public purse to build his private home, cattle kraals and swimming pools,” he said.
In a report released in March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma unduly benefited from R246 million in improvements to his private homestead at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal, and recommended that he repay a portion of the funds. SAPA