Committee recommends docking of EFF MPs’ salaries
The parliamentary powers and privileges committee has recommended the docking of salaries of 16 EFF MPs after they were found guilty of various charges of contempt of Parliament.
The charges emanated from their conduct during a mini-plenary session when they attempted to block Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan from delivering his Budget vote speech in July 2019.
Their conduct prompted National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to order an investigation by the sub-committee on physical removal of members from chamber.
The subcommittee had in September 2019 found the movement of EFF members onto the floor space of the chamber to prevent the minister from delivering his speech and/or to intimidate him constituted a breach of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act.
In September 2020, advocate Ncumisa Mayosi was appointed as the initiator of the inquiry.
Briefing the committee, chairperson Philly Mapulane said they had previously deliberated on the closing arguments and came to a conclusion that the charged members were found guilty.
“We communicated with the charged members the decision of this committee. We invited them to make representations on the sanctions that this committee, after returning a guilty verdict, imposed,” Mapulane said.
He also said they had not received any representations other than a letter from their attorney requesting postponing the imposing of sanctions until a review application was finalised.
“We took a view that we have to proceed with this because there is nothing legally stopping this committee from proceeding,” Mapulane said.
In her submission to the committee, Mayosi said no representation of any kind had been received from the affected members.
She also said the affected members had to date not taken up the opportunity to present mitigating factors.
In her submission, Mayosi recommended that two of the members be suspended without remuneration for a period not exceeding 30 days, whether or not the House or any of its committees was scheduled to meeting during that period.
She also recommended that the 14 others receive a fine not exceeding the equivalent of one month’s salary and allowances payable to each one of these members by virtue of the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act.
All committee members supported Mayosi’s recommendation, except the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who said: “Please just note our objection to this entire recommendation.”
Mapulane said it was the committee’s decision that the arguments and the submission of Mayosi were accepted.
“The sanctions as recommended are agreed by this committee. Further, the committee notes objection of honourable Ndlozi to their entire process as he mentioned,” he said.
Mapulane also said the committee support staff would compile a report with recommendations, which would be adopted at another meeting for submission to the House.