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Malema may take Parliament to court

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Copy of ca p4-Julius Malema done

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Julius Malema during his maiden speech in Parliament. Photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Friday vowed to challenge in court any sanction imposed on him by Parliament.

Speaking at a media briefing following National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise's warning that Malema could face disciplinary steps, he said his party was taking legal advice.

“We'll take it to court. There is nothing wrong with this (statement that the) ANC government murdered people in Marikana,” Malema said.

“At least in court we'll get a neutral person who is not an ANC deployee.”

Malema accused Modise of being biased in favour of the ruling party.

“We are not going to be threatened,” he said.

Modise's ruling on Friday morning overshadowed President Jacob Zuma's response to the state-of-the-nation debate.

Modise, who chaired the joint sitting for the last stretch of the debate, said an EFF MP had behaved unacceptably as Malema led colleagues from the National Assembly chamber on Thursday night . She hinted that the member could be disciplined.

“While leaving, disruptive and unacceptable behaviour was demonstrated by a member of those honourable members,” Modise said, without naming the particular MP.

“This could very well be a matter that could reside under the mandate of the powers and privileges committee.”

The Powers, Privileges, and Immunities of Parliament Act provides for a member to be suspended, fined, or forced to apologise if it is found that he or she showed contempt for the legislature.

Modise said she would consult the Hansard records as well as recordings of the debate, and consult Speaker Baleka Mbete on the incident.

Malema insisted he felt no shame for his remarks during his maiden speech in the legislature.

The defiant EFF leader insisted he would not withdraw his statement that “the ANC government massacred the people in Marikana”.

The statement led to the EFF's walkout, as Modise on Thursday night ruled that it was unparliamentary because it implied the government, which is made up of MPs, was guilty of murder and ordered Malema to withdraw it.

Instead of withdrawing, Malema replied: “Chair, when police reduce crime you come here and say the ANC has reduced crime. When police kill people, you don't want us to come here and say the ANC government has killed people. That is inconsistent, honourable chair.”

At this, Modise ordered Malema to leave the chamber and his colleagues followed him out, loudly protesting as they went.

One of the EFF MPs shouted that Modise was the premier of North West province at time of the shooting at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West in August 2012.

She responded firmly “Yes, I was the premier” before ordering officials to close the doors.

Sapa


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