Malema: No basis for suspension of EFF MPs

The MPs face being barred from Parliament for up to 14 days while a probe into their conduct takes place.

EFF Leader Julius Malema. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Julius Malema says there's no basis to suspend him and his 24 fellow Members of Parliament (MPs).

The MPs face being barred from Parliament for up to 14 days while a probe into their conduct takes place.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has written to the EFF MPs about their disruption of President Jacob Zuma's question time last Thursday.

Mbete told MPs on Tuesday she was considering suspending the EFF MPs while an inquiry into their conduct continues.

The EFF says the party will approach the High Court for an urgent interdict against Mbete and Parliament to stop their suspension.

Malema says the party's lawyers are working on court papers.

He says they want Mbete's assurance that she won't ask the National Assembly to approve their suspension when it sits on Tuesday.

"We will give her a time frame and if she fails to meet the time frame we will approach the court."

The controversial politician says there's no basis for their suspension, saying the EFF did not disrupt Parliament.

"When people started chanting 'pay back the money' there was no disturbance of any session because there was no session in place. She had suspended the session."

He says Mbete didn't name MPs or the party when she ordered them to leave the house and says they only started chanting 'pay back the money' after she'd suspended proceedings.

Mbete had to adjourn the sitting of the House last Thursday when EFF MPs refused to sit down, after Malema asked Zuma when he would pay back the money spent on upgrading his Nkandla homestead.

At one point, riot police were sent in to the National Assembly to remove the EFF.

If suspended, EFF MPs will be barred from entering Parliament's precinct or taking part in its programmes without the speaker's permission.