Malema ‘headed for wilderness’ as ANC rejects his latest appeal

2012-04-18 00:00

YET another nail was driven into Julius Malema’s political coffin yesterday when his appeal against his latest suspension was rejected.

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA), led by Cyril Ramaphosa, shot holes in all five of Malema’s arguments.

Malema was suspended from the ANC on April 4 after he had accused President Jacob Zuma of “traumatising” the youth and running a dictatorship.

The second suspension was not related to the first one, but was imposed to silence Malema while he was appealing his first suspension.

Malema argued that the second suspension denied him his constitutional right to freedom of speech, as well as the right to belong to a political party.

Ramaphosa countered that no right was absolute and that belonging to the ANC was not Malema’s right.

Arguments questioning the NDC’s objectivity and its right to impose the sanctions were also shot down.

Ramaphosa found the NDC’s drastic action was justified given the seriousness of Malema’s offences and the need to “avoid any further damage to the good name and reputation of the organisation”. He said Malema’s suspension was in the party’s best interest.

Considering Malema’s previous actions, the NDC said, it used its discretion and realised that Malema would probably continue saying things in public that would bring the ANC’s name into disrepute.

Political analyst Justice Malala said the NDCA’s decision was yet another nail in Malema’s coffin and he was rapidly headed for the wilderness.

The ANCYL’s leadership has, until now, presented a united front and said that Malema will remain their leader, come what may, but the first cracks have started showing in the league’s unity.

Suspended youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a newspaper article last weekend that Ramaphosa was placing personal interests above principle. In response, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu warned Shivambu not to “castrate” Ramaphosa’s integrity and said the attack was indicative of “people who think they are greater than the ANC and its constitution”.

Magdalene Moonsamy, a youth league spokesperson, continued the battle of words, issuing a statement in defence of Shivambu in the league’s name.

Soon afterwards the league’s deputy leader, Ronald Lamola, also issued a statement, saying the league distanced itself from Moonsamy’s statement and Shivambu’s article.

This is the first time that a member of the leadership has been openly opposed, and Malala said Malema could be next.

“The youth league is extremely divided and Malema’s power base is shrinking rapidly. The league is beginning to see him as a burden and they will not go down with him.”

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said other members of the leadership were hungry for Malema’s position and were tired of supporting him at the expense of the league.

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