The Economic Freedom Fighters is prepared to give Speaker Baleka Mbete until Monday to respond to its ultimatum that she halt plans to suspend the party's MPs from the National Assembly.
“We are in a conversation with her lawyers at the moment as to what time exactly,” EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Sapa on Sunday.
Ndlozi confirmed that Mbete's lawyers had responded to the letters all 25 EFF MPs sent to Mbete on Friday, and had asked for an extension to the party's Sunday noon deadline to say whether she was prepared to abandon plans to expel them from the legislature for up to a fortnight. The EFF has warned that unless Mbete agreed, they would seek an urgent high court interdict barring her from suspending them.
In the letter, posted on EFF leader Julius Malema's twitter account, Mbete's counsel writes that there “can be no prejudice” to the party's MPs to wait for a response until Monday as the National Assembly was only scheduled to sit again on Tuesday.
Mbete has been widely expected to propose at that sitting that the EFF members be suspended for disrupting proceedings on August 21 when President Jacob Zuma was answering questions in the house.
In an unprecedented protest, they chanted “pay back the money” after Malema asked the president when he would heed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendation that he repay state funds spent on all improvements at this Nkandla home that did not pertain to security measures.