Malema loses court bid after calling Cyril 'murderer'

JOHANNESBURG - Julius Malema’s “murderer” comment which he directed at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the National Assembly has not only been judged as unparliamentary by the Western Cape High Court, but also deemed “a very serious allegation which cannot be categorised as free political speech protected by the constitution”.

Judge Robert Henney delivered the judgment, in which he dismissed two of the EFF’s three court applications, on Wednesday.

The party had approached the court in August last year after Parliament enforced stricter rules which were touted as the solution to the often chaotic, acrimonious stand-offs which resulted in voluntary walkouts or the forced removals of MPs.

In its court papers filed against Speaker Baleka Mbete, the EFF said it saw the amendment to the rules as “unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid and of no force or effect”.

The party also said the rules served as “an attempt to silence the EFF” and to “grant the Speaker greater powers than she originally had in order to stifle the ability of the EFF to ensure that there is accountability of the executive”.

Malema became the first casualty on September 9 last year, when the rules first took effect when he called Ramaphosa a murderer then refused to withdraw the remarks.

Referring to the Marikana massacre, Malema called Ramaphosa a murderer.

Thirty-four miners were killed at the Lonmin mine in the North West in 2012 while Ramaphosa was a director of the mining company.

Judge Henney also ruled he did not agree that the amendment to the parliamentary rules granted Mbete, as Speaker, more powers “than she originally has”.

The judge dismissed another application by the EFF that members of the police or the SA National Defence Force could not be considered for posts within the Parliamentary Protection Services.

However, Judge Henney did rule in favour of the EFF in one application in which the party argued against the immediate suspension of a member who get ejected from Parliament. “The Speaker, in my view, has failed to make out a case as to why a member should be suspended without giving him or her a hearing.”

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