Action against Malema 'long overdue'
Cape Town - The ANC's action against its youth wing leader Julius Malema is long overdue, the United Democratic Movement said on Friday.
"The ANC seems to have, at last, reined in Mr Julius Malema, ANC youth league president. This is long overdue," UDM secretary general Bongani Msomi said in a statement.
The sad truth was that the ANC might have woken up too late. Malema had been acting like a bull in a china shop for far too long and South Africans had borne the brunt of his utterances - whether they were friends or foes of Malema.
"The damage his blind insolence has done to our economy is incalculable. The UDM hopes that the ANC leadership are sincere about this disciplinary action - let it not be a case of going through the motions to silence the criticism," Msomi said.
The Freedom Front Plus also welcomed the ANC's action against Malema.
However, he should also have been charged with bringing the ANC into disrepute with his "racist comments against white people", FF Plus spokesperson Anton Alberts said in a statement.
"Malema's racist comments, even made in President Zuma's presence, contribute to deepening the divisions between the different communities in South Africa."
The FF Plus would continue its efforts to persuade the Botswana government to charge Malema with sedition, he said.
Earlier on Friday, ANC national disciplinary committee chairperson Derek Hanekom said Malema had been charged with violating the ANC constitution.
"Comrade Julius Malema has been charged with various violations of the ANC constitution, including bringing the ANC into disrepute through his utterances and statements on Botswana and sowing divisions in the ranks of the African National Congress," Hanekom said in a statement.
"The disciplinary matter concerning comrade Julius is now in the hands of the ANC national disciplinary committee, which will henceforth deal with the date, venue, and time of the hearing."
Malema would have an opportunity to defend himself at a disciplinary hearing. He would be entitled representation by a member of the ANC in good standing, he said.
The disciplinary hearings Malema and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, who was charged separately, will take place on August 30 and 31.