Malema disciplinary forces the ANC to re-evaluate its rules

2012-04-28 17:01

The ANC is set to re-evaluate its constitution and disciplinary procedures following former youth league leader Julius Malema’s expulsion.

Malema was finally kicked out of party structures this week following a drawn-out nine-month hearing by the party’s national disciplinary committee and the appeals committee.

League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was suspended for three years and secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was suspended for a year.

The disciplinary process has prompted the ANC to fix weaknesses in its constitution at its Mangaung conference in December, a source involved in the process told City Press.

During the disciplinary it was argued, for instance, that a member who was suspended from the ANC wasn’t necessarily suspended from the youth league. This was rejected by the disciplinary bodies.

The ANC’s policy-discussion documents ahead of its policy conference in June said the party should review the use of professional, paid lawyers for disciplinary hearings “so that the organisation does not end up in a situation wherein it is extraordinarily difficult to bring errant members into line”.

The appeals committee in its full 41-page appeal ruling said the use of paid lawyers was “an unusual development in the disciplinary processes of the ANC”.

The party’s constitution “never envisaged that ANC members who were subject to disciplinary processes would, when exercising their right to be represented by a member in good standing, be engaging lawyers on a paid basis”.

The appeals committee also instructed the ANC to look at possible fraudulent amendments to the league’s constitution.

Malema’s lawyers used a new version of the constitution during his appeal in November, which said that if the ANC suspended or expelled league members it “shall be subjected to the internal enquiry by the corresponding disciplinary structures of the ANC Youth League”.

The appeals committee didn’t accept this amendment and was suspicious of its validity.

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