Phosa publicly in Malema’s corner

2012-01-15 08:59

ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa has come out publicly in defence of suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

“I know Juju is worried about the (disciplinary appeal hearing), but I want to assure him that the ANC has no dustbin for comrades. If comrades make mistakes, we find a mechanism to address them,” Phosa said.

This is the first time since Malema’s five-year suspension from the ANC last year that one of the top six officials has come out in his defence.

Most leaders have cautiously been steering clear of associating with him closely. Malema’s appeal is set to be heard next Monday.

At the ANC’s Limpopo centenary rally in Sekhukhune yesterday, which was also attended by Malema, Phosa set himself on a collision course with President Jacob Zuma by accusing the national government of stealing Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale’s powers. Cabinet has put five provincial departments under administration after the bankrupt province failed to pay service providers last year.

Phosa urged Mathale to bring the matter before the ANC.

“We would like to know, as the NEC, (National Executive Committee) the impact that this had on service delivery in the province in order for us to tell our government what can be done here and there.

“If it is true that service providers have not been paid, it is wrong and it must be addressed,” Phosa said.

Switching to a local dialect of Sepedi, which he called seTokwa, he said “you must not try to fix, yet you are destroying” to the applause of the crowd.

Phosa also said the NEC welcomed the outcome of the contentious December conference. Mathale’s detractors complained to the party’s national leadership about alleged irregularities. The NEC will consider this at its meeting in the first week of February.

Malema steered clear of controversy but made snide remarks about the omission of the role of the youth league in the retelling of ANC history, seen as a swipe at Zuma’s January 8 speech in Mangaung last Sunday.

Sandi Sejake, the ANC Veterans League president, bemoaned what he said were “syndicates” that had taken over the election of leadership in the ANC at all levels, and called on it to return to the vision of its founders and those who came after them.

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