Parly to comply with high court interim order on EFF suspensions

Pretoria: Parliament has noted the judgement of the Western Cape High Court delivered today which, as an interim measure, requires Parliament to pay, with immediate effect, the salaries and allowances to 20 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members.

“As the legislative branch of the state, Parliament has always upheld the Constitution and the rule of law. It is important to note that the order by the High Court delivered today is an interim one,” Parliament said in a statement.

Judge Dennis Davis, who presided, indicated in his judgement that another court needed to deliberate on the merits of the EFF’s application.

Judge Davis categorically said that the judgement was not definitive and did not seek to undermine Parliament’s authority to conduct its own business, as an independent branch of the state, in terms of its own internal arrangements.

He further said that the judgement was not about determining whether the conduct of the 20 affected EFF members was deserving of sanction. He highlighted the “haste” with which court had had to deal with the matter.

The judgement was read into the record and a written text of it will only be available later.

On 28 November, letters of suspension and notices of fines were sent to members of the EFF found guilty of conduct that constituted contempt of Parliament.

This followed the adoption by the National Assembly (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 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 and required to apologise to the NA.

The 30 days’ suspensions would have expired on 28 December and the 14 days’ suspensions expired on 12 December.