The Economic Freedom Fighters party has challenged National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s notice of her intention to suspend its MPs from the House.
EFF leader Julius Malema said he and each of his 24 MPs were yesterday handed letters from Mbete.
In the letters, they were asked to give reasons, by the end of today, why they should not be suspended for disrupting President Jacob Zuma’s question-and-answer session in parliament last week.
Malema said the EFF caucus would comply with Mbete’s deadline but would ask her to specify what each of its MPs had done that was in breach of the House’s rules.
According to Malema, each MP would argue that they were not named when Mbete ordered certain people to leave the chamber. The party was also not named, he said.
Instead, Malema argued, Mbetehad said “people who are not serious about the business of the day should leave the chamber”.
Mbete told the National Assembly’s programming committee yesterday that she would announce her decision on Tuesday.
Malema said his party was preparing to apply to the Cape Town High Court on Monday for an order prohibiting Mbete from suspending EFF MPs.
ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said he was confident the application would be rejected.