Malema to argue ANC is selective in sentencing

2012-02-12 08:51

Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema is likely to draw on recent pronouncements by President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe to strengthen his case for mitigation of his sentence.

Zuma this week admitted the ANC had failed to enforce the sentence from Malema’s first disciplinary hearing properly, and Malema was expected to argue that his 2010 sentence can’t be “selectively” implemented.

Motlanthe, on the other hand, told the league’s lekgotla on Friday that the ANC should discuss controversial league policies with the youngsters. Malema’s two standing charges related to policy proposals that were in conflict with the ANC.

Speaking to City Press this week at his official Cape Town residence, Zuma said he “couldn’t speculate” why three of Malema’s sanctions from his 2010 hearing, which included a R10 000 fine, anger management courses, and political education, weren’t implemented.

“There were specific structures that were supposed to follow through. I think in a sense it is a lesson, that once you take decisions you have to follow it through,” he said. “I don’t think it will repeat itself again.”

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was in charge of enforcing the 2010 sentence.

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) in November suspended Malema on the basis of the fourth sanction, according to which he would be kicked out if found guilty of sowing division in the ANC within the next two years.

The ANC’s appeal committee last Saturday confirmed his guilt on this count for a second time, but sent Malema back to the NDC to have his case heard within 14 days in mitigation of his five-year suspension. The ANC was expected to argue that his sentence should be harsher.

It was believed that the mitigation hearing would take place tomorrow.

Malema was expected to argue that his full 2010 sentence was not implemented, as he was never made to pay the fine, the anger management classes at the University of Johannesburg had failed, the political education classes never happened, and that it was not fair or right for the ANC to implement only the suspension.

He was also expected to draw a distinction between the nature of the two hearings, arguing that the 2010 utterance about former president Thabo Mbeki being a better leader than Zuma was made in his personal capacity.

He maintained that last year when he said there was no leadership on African issues since Mbeki had left.

He was also expected to argue that the ANC never pronounced on the league’s policy proposals from its national elective conference in June last year.

Motlanthe on Friday reminded the league its policies should be in line with the ANC constitution.

He told the lekgotla that where there was a conflict between the policy position of the ruling party’s youth and the mother body, the league needed to submit these “to the scrutiny of the policy structures of the ANC so that they may be debated and adopted as ANC policy”.

“The point I am explaining is that the league has a right to its own congress, to craft its own policies, take its decisions. The only test is that the league must ensure those are not in conflict with the ANC constitution.”

Motlanthe said the league should inform the ANC about the resolutions it adopted. If the ANC failed to discuss those policy positions with the league, “there are strong grounds for accusing the ANC of failing the youth league”.

Meanwhile Malema said on Friday he was preparing for life “outside the ANC and possibly in prison”, possibly referring to the investigations by law enforcement agencies into his financial dealings.

Malema told the meeting that his disciplinary hearing was politically motivated, and blamed it on his push for the nationalisation of mines.

“Some in the ANC believe that by removing certain leaders of the youth league, they will successfully suppress and undermine the political and ideological struggles of the league,” he said.

Malema added that the leadership succession ahead of the December ANC elective conference “should never be a taboo topic”.

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