ANC says Hamba to Malema

2012-04-25 00:00

SOUTH AFRICA’S worst kept secret is now official — last night the ANC National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal announced that it was indeed “Hamba Malema”.

Following in the footsteps of Bantu Holomisa, who was shown the door in 1996, Malema has been expelled from the party for sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute.

His ally and league spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, has been suspended for three years, while league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa received more than a bloody nose.

In the surprise of the evening, the ANC NDCA, under chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, varied Magaqa’s sentence and suspended him for a year with immediate effect.

Magaqa originally received a three-year suspension, suspended for three years on condition that he apologise to Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba for making derogatory remarks about him. Magaqa apologised, but his subsequent antics did little to endear him to the disciplinary committee.

Last night, he told The Witness he was too busy to speak to journalists and hung up.

All three league leaders will be expected to vacate their youth league positions with immediate effect, leaving the youth league without its president and secretary-general.

It was not clear what Malema’s next move would be and whether he would launch a court challenge.

He has previously said he would not resort to the courts, but he still has two internal avenues — to try and seek a review by the ANC’s national executive committee or seek relief from the party’s national executive comittee (NEC) when it meets in December in Mangaung.

There is precedent for seeking an NEC review. ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe, who was expelled from the ANC for being an alleged sex-pest in 2006, was successful when he turned to the NEC, who reviewed his sentence and changed it to a suspended sentence for three years.

Goniwe also received his slice of justice when the Gauteng high court ruled in November last year that the ANC must pay him R1,2 million plus interest of R800 000 for loss of income for the period he would have served as an MP had he not been booted out.

In its ruling, the NDCA said the failure by Malema, Shivambu and Mgaqa to accept they were found guilty by a legitimate structure of the ANC was the root of the real issue in the appeal proceedings.

It rejected their argument that President Jacob Zuma had pre-judged the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings, saying the innuendo that the president controlled and influenced the committee remotely was “devoid of truth and undermined the integrity of the members of the NDCA”.

The NDCA found that Malema’s understanding of the ANC’s constitution was “fundamentally flawed”.

In a late night statement, the ANC urged its members and structures to accept and respect the findings.

“It has been a difficult and painful decision to subject some of our comrades to a disciplinary process and the resultant sanctions. This had to be done in the defence of the organisation and affirming of the ANC constitution.”

It said this was not the first time a member or members of the ANC had been disciplined.

“Many of those subjected to the same process and sanction have in turn learnt from their mistakes and have become better members who are fulfilling their role in the organisation. We believe the same is possible for comrades Julius Malema, Sindiso Magaqa and Floyd Shivambu.”

Reached for comment, Malema’s lawyer Dali Mpofu said he could not speak to the media.

In her reaction, Msunduzi councillor Rachel Soobiah, who is a member of the ANCYL national executive committee, said she respected the appeal committee’s ruling and would not defy it.

“Nobody is bigger than the ANC and I for one would never go against the ANC nor the constitution of the party that guides us,” she said.

Soobiah said earlier statements that the league would support Malema until the end of his term of office were misleading.

She was grateful that NEC member Mduduzi Manana had set the record straight that the overall view among the league’s leadership was that the NEC would support Malema through his disciplinary process and that the outcome of the NDCA would be respected.

Soobiah said she believed that a full meeting of the ANCYL NEC would take place soon to elect a new interim leadership and decide a way forward.

The league has previously indicated that it would hold a special national general council meeting to elect new leaders if necessary.

KZN’s ANC Youth League, which was disbanded by Malema for saying it supported President Jacob Zuma’s second term in office, welcomed the outcome.

Sboniso Duma said they never doubted that the ANC was “an old and wise organisation and would do the right thing”.

He said Malema’s expulsion was neither here nor there when it came to whether the KZN youth league branch would be reinstated.

“We had appealed to the ANC for our reinstatement and we are confident of a positive outcome.”

Spokespersons for the KZN Task Team who were installed by Malema to replace the group he had disbanded could not be reached for comment last night.

At the time of going to press, all was quiet in Malema’s home town of Seshego, while outside his grandmother’s home, the only gathering was of reporters who descended on the home in anticipation of the finding.

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