ANC bemoans doubt on committee
Johannesburg - It was unfortunate the ANC Youth League had chosen to cast doubt on the party's national disciplinary committee (NDC), the ANC said on Wednesday.
"Some of the issues raised by the youth league are issues they need to take to the appeal process and make those arguments there," the African National Congress said.
"We find it very unfortunate that they have chosen to cast doubt on the NDC, the process of the NDC itself and the outcome thereof."
The ANC, nevertheless, welcomed the pronouncement by leaders of the ANCYL that they would appeal against the NDC outcome.
ANCYL president Julius Malema, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were sanctioned by the NDC last Thursday.
Malema was given a five-year suspension and told to vacate his position as president and Shivambu was suspended for three years and also told to vacate.
The other four leaders all had their youth league membership suspended for two years. This sanction was suspended for three years.
Malema said on Wednesday the league rejected the outcome of the disciplinary hearings and would appeal against the convictions.
There was suspicion and concern over the legitimacy of the hearings, he said, contending the decision to suspend the leaders was taken before the hearings started.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and spokesperson Jackson Mthembu had made statements to this effect, Malema said.
The NDC was convened "merely" to give the conviction legitimacy.
Mantashe had said the ANCYL had "crossed a line" before the disciplinary hearing started, and Mthembu had made a statement, on behalf of the party, that the ANC could not harbour the leaders of the ANCYL.
The ANC said the statements made by the two were never raised as a factor in deciding the sanctions by the NDC.
"Issues that were pertinent to the sanction were isolated individually and addressed in terms of why they constituted in the words of the NDC "violations" and consequently how these impacted on the ANC's integrity as an organisation," the party said.
"Both the SG [secretary general] and the spokesperson are not members of the NDC and therefore they could not have pre-determined through their commentary the outcome of the NDC."
The ANC said it was satisfied that the competence of the NDC was not questionable.
Malema on Wednesday also said that the disciplinary hearings were used to settle a political score and that NDC chairperson Derek Hanekom had a political agenda.
Hanekom publicly said the youth league's policy on expropriation of land without compensation would not happen as long as he was in the ANC.
The ANC denied this, saying that the youth league leaders were never charged for calling for economic freedom, nationalisation and land grabs without compensation.
"Any insinuation that the charges brought against them as well as the outcomes thereof were "political" is therefore without any substance," it said.
The ANC said it was disturbed at what it described as attempts to divide party leaders with regard to last week's suspension of ANCYL leaders.
"There is no doubt in our mind that the process, as well as the outcome of the recent disciplinary hearings, enjoys the respect and acceptance by all leaders of the ANC and members," the party said.