ANC committee a kangaroo court: ANCYL
Miranda Andrew and Meggan Saville
Johannesburg - The ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) is a "kangaroo court" and its rejection of Julius Malema's appeal against its processes "a challenge", a member of the North West ANCYL said on Friday.
The news that the African National Congress's NDC would proceed with charges against the league's president was met with silence by his supporters, assembled near party headquarters Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
As members from youth league provincial branches addressed the crowd, people began to cheer loudly. Most of the provincial members did not identify themselves by name.
"We have gathered here in defence of the revolution. We have gathered here in defence of Malema," a North West member said.
"We are here to say 'no retreat, no surrender'."
Revolution will go on
A Free State league member said the NDC was trying to intimidate and dissuade the ANCYL from fighting for "economic freedom".
A Limpopo representative said: "In a few years the people enticing us [sic] will be in their graves and the revolution will go on".
Several members said they would campaign for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to become ANC president at the party's elective conference next year.
Limpopo youth league branch chairperson Frans Moswane said Gwede Mantashe was "causing trouble", and "the people" wanted him removed from his post as ANC secretary general.
"We are here for organisational discipline... The ANC belongs to us, it is our responsibility to protect it," Moswane said.
ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy told the crowd the league grew stronger the harder it pushed.
The NDC announced on Friday morning the 22 arguments set out by Malema to have charges against him dropped were unfounded, and it would proceed with his disciplinary hearing, and that of his five co-accused members.
About 400 supporters congregated near Luthuli House on Friday, a fraction of the number that turned out on Tuesday. A rumour that Malema was on his way to address his supporters was circulating, but could not be confirmed.
Malema was brought before the NDC on charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.
He recently said the ANCYL would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and to help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and undermining the "African agenda".
Charged with him are ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Masenogi.
All except Shivambu would appear before the committee on Friday, said Mthembu. His disciplinary hearing had been postponed to a later date.