Disciplinary hearing against EFF MPs adjourned indefinitely

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The disciplinary hearing against ten EFF MPs accused of contempt of Parliament has been adjourned indefinitely, after its second day. A witness in the disciplinary hearing conceded that he may have misidentified one of those accused of contempt of Parliament. Legal counsel for the EFF, Advocate Mfesane ka-Siboto, has been cross-examining the sole witness in the hearing, National Assembly Secretary Masibulele Xaso.

The disciplinary hearing entered its second day on Tuesday, with initiator continuing to lead evidence against the EFF MPs.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence has taken issue with what it calls, a multilayered process to charge the members without proper verification of who is actually charged.

“You can equally appreciate why we have a problem with this multilayered process that includes sub committee’s that includes this committee viewing the same video undertaking the same exercise of verifying yet all of them including the members of this committee miss such an important issue. You will then begin to understand our initial submission that there must be an independent finding process,” says Ka-Siboto.

“When I say it was Ms Mkhonto I believed it was Ms Mkhonto. I accept that I may be incorrect. To the extent that I may be incorrect because it would mean I must by the picture of that member when I was trying to do that, but I accept that if it’s not Ms Mkhonto then it’s not Ms Mkhonto then I was wrong then I accept,” says Xaso

And as evidence was led, the initiator took exception to the line of questioning. But the pressure was piled on by the defence as it invoked a legal precedent that absolved EFF leaders from calling President Cyril Ramaphosa a murderer over the Marikana massacre. And it also argued Parliament was playing double standards.

“Is it fair for the Speaker to admonish members for calling the president a criminal and money launderer yet at the same time does not reprimand and admonish and seek punishment of members that called [Floyd] Shivambu MP a murderer and part of the syndicate of the VBS heist, would you call that fair on the Speaker’s perspective?” Ka-Siboto added.

“Chairperson I call the manner in which the Speaker ran the proceedings on the day fair and she dealt with the matters before her to her best of her ability and that would be my version,” Xaso explains.

The hearing has been adjourned indefinitely.

The EFF’s review application over the legality of the disciplinary proceedings will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.