The Economic Freedom Fighters’ bid in the High Court to get their suspension lifted ahead of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) failed and this means Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and four other senior leaders of the party will be barred from the Sona.
The High Court said the EFF had filed their papers late.
The matter was struck off the roll in the Western Cape High Court. The application had come a week before the Sona.
The suspension of Malema, Shivambu, Marshall Dlamini, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Vuyani Pambo and Sinawo Tambo will come into effect on Thursday.
Their one-month suspension from Parliament follows the findings of the Powers and Privileges Committee last year that six EFF members be barred from Parliament from February 1 until February 29.
This comes after they disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Sona last year.
The Powers and Privileges Committee had made it clear that they did not want to see a repeat of last year’s events. The six leaders of the EFF were also asked by the committee to apologise to Ramaphosa and the nation for their conduct.
However, the EFF went to the court to seek an overturn of the suspension.
Parliament said it welcomed the ruling of the court to strike the application of the party off the roll.
“The EFF had requested the court’s leniency in accepting the late filing of their replies to the affidavit for the National Assembly and their heads of arguments in the matter,” said Parliament.
“We concur with the majority judgment that the responsibility lies with the applicant. In this case, the EFF, to ensure that they adhere to court rules and have a well-prepared case that is ripe for hearing. The EFF’s imposed unreasonable timeframes and their filing at midnight before the next court day, not only inconvenienced parliament and the court but also indicated their lack of readiness for their application to be heard,” it said.
“The EFF’s application was dismissed with costs. The suspension of the six EFF members are effective from February 1 to February 29.”
The powers and privileges committee had said in its finding that the sanction imposed against members of the EFF must ensure this sends a message against any plans to disrupt the Sona.