Former ANC chairman Mosiuoa ‘Terror’ Lekota will receive a letter “soon” informing him of his suspension from the ruling party, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The ANC’s national working committee announced in a statement to the media on Monday evening that Lekota, former defence minister, and Mluleki George, his former deputy, had been suspended.

But Lekota responded by saying he would not believe the news “until I get a letter from the ANC”. “They will receive the letters soon,” said ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi on Tuesday, declining to specify when.

“It can be today, it can be after [the national executive committee meeting].” Lekota told supporters in Uitenhage that his suspension would be invalid in terms of the ANC’s constitution, but Mnisi disagreed.

Lekota said: “If there is such a thing, I do not believe it. You know why? Because the constitution of the ANC says that no member can be punished before you hold a hearing.”

Mnisi, however, denied that the NWC broke ANC rules. “They [Lekota and George] must know how the disciplinary hearings of the ANC are conducted… Lekota chooses to misunderstand that clause,” said Mnisi, quoting from rule 25.12 C. It states that under “exceptional circumstances, as determined by the national working committee or national disciplinary committee or the PWC [provincial working committee], as the case may be, may warrant an immediate decision of temporary suspension of a member without eliciting the comment of such members”.

Mnisi said both Lekota and George would be afforded the opportunity to respond at a disciplinary hearing at a date yet to be determined. The suspension meant that neither were allowed to participate in any ANC proceedings or “call any gatherings of the ANC”.

A special meeting of the ANC national executive committee would be held on Wednesday to further discuss their suspension. Lekota last week announced his intention to hold a convention to discuss the possibility of forming a new political party. Since then, he has addressed several public meetings of disgruntled ANC members in different provinces.

He recently resigned as defence minister after the ANC leadership ousted Thabo Mbeki as president of the country.