Johannesburg - The ANC Chief Whip's office on Thursday welcomed the decision of the Economic Freedom Fighters MPs to challenge their looming suspension from Parliament in court.
“We believe that approaching the court will provide them with the necessary lessons on parliamentary rules and procedures,” spokesman Moloto Mothapo said.
“We are confident that the court would educate them that Parliament, as an independent institution, is empowered by the Constitution to determine and control its internal arrangements, proceedings and procedures and to make rules and orders concerning its business.”
He said these rules, endorsed by all parties, were necessary for the preservation of the dignity and decorum of Parliament.
“In this regard, the judiciary may not be used to unnecessarily meddle in the internal processes of the other independent arm of government,” he said.
Last Thursday, the EFF defied orders from Speaker Baleka Mbete to leave the National Assembly after they disrupted presidential question time. They chanted “pay back the money”, referring to the recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her report on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
EFF leader Julius Malema said the party would go to court to oppose their looming suspension from Parliament.
All 25 EFF MPs received formal letters from Mbete asking them to motivate why they should not be suspended from Parliament for disrupting the sitting.
Malema said EFF MPs were responding to Mbete's letters of warning through their lawyers, and giving her a deadline by which to assure them that she would not move a motion next week calling for their suspension.
Should she fail to give that undertaking, the lawyers would approach the high court for an urgent interdict barring the legislature from suspending them for the threatened seven to 14 days.