ANC NEC meeting: Where’s Malema?

2012-02-02 15:03

Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema wasn’t spotted at the ANC’s five-day national executive committee meeting which kicked off in Pretoria today.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said he didn’t see Malema at the meeting, but Malema might have sent an apology or he might be coming later.

“Many apologies were read this morning and (Malema’s) might have been among them,” he said.

When City Press sent Malema an SMS, asking him whether he had been attending the NEC or whether he would be, he simply replied: "Non of ur business" (sic).

Delegates are not allowed to take cellphones inside the NEC meeting, which could indicate that by late afternoon, Malema was still not inside the meeting.

Malema is awaiting the outcome of his appeal to his five-year suspension for sowing division within the party. Head of the ANC national disciplinary committee of appeal, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also on the NEC, is expected to deliver the verdict soon, but this is unlikely to happen this weekend while the meeting was in progress.

As youth league leader Malema is also an ex-officio member of the ANC’s national leadership structure and is entitled to attend the NEC’s quarterly meetings. The league’s secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa, who has received a suspended sentence, is also due to be at the meeting as ex-officio member.

Mthembu briefed journalists about the NEC’s agenda this afternoon.

He said ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, who also headed the team organising the ANC’s centenary celebrations, will deliver her report on the celebrations in Mangaung.

There were a number of complaints about the organisation of the event, and the report is expected to be critical of some ANC leaders involved.

The party leaders would also be discussing the draft policy documents in preparation of its policy conference in June, Mthembu said. These included a report by the party’s task team on the nationalisation of mines.

Business Day reported the draft report discourages “asset grabs” by government and the buying of stakes in mines, because it said government couldn’t afford it.

When asked to comment, Mthembu said: “I can’t comment on ghost sources. The report has not been tabled in the NEC yet.”

Mthembu said President Jacob Zuma had delivered his political overview at the meeting this morning. “Our critics always say that as the ANC we are good at coming up with wonderful policies, but we fall short on the implementation. The president asked us to think outside our thinking caps,” he said.

Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, to be delivered next Thursday evening, would not be discussed, Mthembu said. The party already had a lekgotla in July last year, and government’s planning cycle had already taken the recommendations from the lekgotla into consideration.

But the meeting would consider how far the recommendations from last year had been implemented, he said.

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