'Nonsensical sanction!': EFF welcomes Malema court win

01 March 2022 - 10:23
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The EFF has welcomed the judgment of the Western Cape high court. File image.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu The EFF has welcomed the judgment of the Western Cape high court. File image.

The EFF has welcomed the Cape Town high court's judgment suspending parliament's sanctioning of the party's leader Julius Malema.

The court on Monday suspended the sanctioning until the process that led to it is reviewed.

Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members' interests resolved to sanction Malema after it found he used the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interview processes as a platform for his personal interests.

During the interview, Malema had questioned Judge Keoagile Elias Matojane about the R500,000 defamation order he made against the EFF in favour of former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

Malema approached the high court last week with an urgent application to suspend the implementation of the order that he should apologise, and that he should not be found to be in contempt if he does not apologise by Monday.

In a statement, the EFF expressed its satisfaction, saying the “nonsensical sanction will be thrown in the dustbin of history where it belongs”.

“The role of the duly elected politicians who are MPs serving in the JSC is sacrosanct and must be protected,” said the party.

“Those elected leaders are there to ensure that they represent the aspirations and the will of people and to ensure that our judiciary system is not detached from the material realities of our people as well as the prevailing political conditions and contradictions.

“Commissioners of the JSC must not be censored simply because certain quarters of the political or legal community do not like the robust and transparent nature of interviews.”

In an affidavit to the high court, Malema said he believed the ethics committee’s findings were wrong and his rights would be prejudiced if he was bound by the committee’s findings.

“The reason an interdict is necessary to protect my rights is because if I comply with the report, any further rights I would have had in respect of the review [regardless of its merits] would be pre-empted,” he said.

“Furthermore, my failure to comply with the report [absent an interdict] also subjects me to a greater risk of punitive sanction by parliament itself [being found in contempt].

“The possible sanction includes my suspension from parliament for up to a month, including being deprived of my salary.”