Parliament welcomes the Constitutional Court’s dismissal yesterday, with costs, of the application from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for direct access to the Constitutional Court.
Eleven Constitutional Court Judges, including Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, considered the application.
The EFF had applied to the Constitutional Court to hear their challenge to the suspensions and fines which the National Assembly (NA) imposed on 20 of their members, among other matters. Their application directly to the Constitutional Court followed an initial application to the Western Cape High Court.
The Western Cape High Court today heard argument from the legal representatives of Parliament and of the EFF. Judgement has been reserved until Tuesday, 23 December.
Parliament is opposing all relief sought in the application from the EFF. Notice of motion – among others, to interdict Parliament for suspending the salaries and allowances of 20 EFF Members for their role in disrupting proceedings of the NA on 21 August – was served on Parliament on 2 December.
On 28 November, letters of suspension and notices of fines were sent to members of the EFF found guilty of contempt of Parliament.
This followed the adoption by the NA of the report of the Powers and Privileges Committee on the hearing into allegations of conduct constituting contempt of Parliament by Members of the Assembly. Independent initiator Mr Randall van Voore led evidence in the hearing.
Six members of the EFF were suspended for 30 days with no pay. Another six were suspended for 14 days without pay and eight were each fined an amount equivalent to 14 days’ salary and allowances.
The 30 days’ suspensions will expire on 28 December and the 14 days’ suspensions expired on 12 December.
Suspended members are prohibited from entering Parliament or from participating in any activity of Parliament or its committees without written permission of the NA Speaker. They are also not entitled to any allowances under the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act for the duration of their suspensions.
Source : Parliament of South Africa