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Mbete to respond to EFF ultimatum

MPs face suspension for up to 14 days while an inquiry into their parliamentary conduct is underway.

FILE: The EFF gave Mbete until noon today to withdraw her threat to suspend them. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Lawyers acting for National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete say she'll respond to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s ultimatum over the possible suspension of its 25 MPs tomorrow.

The MPs face suspension for up to 14 days while an inquiry into their conduct during President Jacob Zuma's question time earlier this month is underway.

The EFF gave Mbete until noon today to withdraw her threat to suspend them, saying they would seek an urgent interdict in the high court if she did not.

But in a letter posted on Julius Malema's Twitter account, Mbete's lawyer says she needs more time.

Leon Manuel of the State Attourneys' Office says in the letter that Mbete could not respond by today's deadline as she needs to properly consider the EFF's representations and take advice.

The letter also says neither Malema nor his 24 fellow EFF MPs will suffer any prejudice, as the National Assembly is only due to sit again on Tuesday.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has told Eyewitness News that if Mbete doesn't withdraw her suspension threat, the EFF will go to court.