South African Parliament to Lift Suspension Against EFF’s MalemaAmogelang Mbatha
South Africa’s Parliament said it will comply with an interim court order overturning the suspension of opposition leader Julius Malema and his fellow lawmakers for heckling President Jacob Zuma.
The judgment in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town requires Parliament to pay the salaries and allowances of suspended lawmakers from the Economic Freedom Fighters with immediate effect, the legislature said in an e-mailed statement today.
The National Assembly on Nov. 27 voted to suspend the legislators for disrupting Zuma’s speech in August by chanting for him to “pay back the money.” That was in reference to a recommendation by the corruption ombudsman that Zuma, 72, repay part of the 215 million-rand ($18.5 million) in public funds used to renovate his private residence.
Parliament had suspended Malema, 33, and four EFF members for 30 days, while six others were suspended for 14 days without pay, and eight fined 14 days’ salary and ordered to apologize.
Luzuko Jacobs, a spokesman for Parliament, said by phone that the interdict granted by Judge Dennis Davies refers to the suspensions and sanctions recommended by the Powers and Privileges committee.
The National Assembly has been disrupted several times this year amid increasing tension between the ruling African National Congress and opposition parties, with the EFF challenging cabinet ministers and Baleka Mbete, speaker of Parliament, on policy and procedures. The EFF won 6.4 percent of the vote in May elections, giving it 25 seats in the 400-seat legislature.
Floyd Shivambu, the EFF’s chief whip in Parliament, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.