ANC considers Malema matter closed

2012-06-12 11:35

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has poured cold water on expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s hopes of returning to the fold.

Following the rejection of the league’s request to the national executive committee (NEC) to review Malema’s expulsion, his supporters have been hoping to raise the matter as a last resort at the party’s policy conference later this month, and the elective congress in Mangaung in December.

But Mantashe told journalists at a briefing in Luthuli House in Johannesburg this morning, following yesterday’s NEC meeting, there was nothing in the party’s constitution that allowed the party’s conferences to deal with disciplinary matters.

“Anybody can raise it from the floor as a point of order, so you have to leave it to that kind of process,” he said.

It is, however, understood that such a point of order could be overruled by those chairing the plenary session on the grounds that the NEC had already ruled that there were no procedural flaws in Malema’s disciplinary and appeal that warrant a review.

Up to now Malema had argued that he was expelled because of a political vendetta against him.

Mantashe said the NEC’s decision “closes the chapter on this matter” and “all structures of the ANC, including the leagues, are expected to respect and implement the decision of the NEC”.

The NEC also refused to review the one-year suspension of league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa and three-year suspension of spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.

Mantashe denied that Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, who sits on the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeal, admitted that the ANC had made a mistake in suspending Magaqa.

“Jeff was only outlining the process that was followed,” he said.

Mantashe said a leak from Malema’s supporters that the meeting almost came to blows were “distortion and a lie at best and can only serve to mislead the public”.

He also said, contrary to the leaks, that none of the officials or President Jacob Zuma participated in the discussion until the matter was finalised.

Mantashe did, however, say the discussions on the review were “open, robust and dispassionate”.

An NEC member who attended the meeting also said not all of the people who Malema’s supporters claimed spoke in his favour, did so.

This included deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise, treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, and Northern Cape chairperson John Block, who wasn’t even at the meeting.

He did admit that Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale spoke in favour of the review.

The meeting was chaired by ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete.

The youth league has refused to comment on the NEC’s ruling.

It issued a press statement shortly after this morning’s press conference, saying: “We will not be providing any comment nor giving any interviews in respect to this matter at this point.”

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