Gigaba won't comment on apology
Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba will not comment on ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa's order to apologise to him, the minister's spokesperson said on Thursday.
"We're not talking about that," Mayihlome Tshwete said.
Magaqa will be suspended from the ANC for three years if he does not make a public apology to Gigaba within 15 days, the ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) said on Wednesday evening.
Announcing the suspension, committee chairperson Derek Hanekom said that having weighed and considered all factors, the committee was suspending Magaqa from the ANC for three years.
However, this would be suspended for three years and implemented only if he were found guilty of misconduct within that time.
The suspension would also apply to his membership of the ANCYL, in accordance with the national disciplinary committee of appeals' decision on February 4.
He has 14 days to appeal.
Magaqa was found guilty of prejudicing the integrity of the organisation and of creating divisions by making derogatory remarks about national executive committee member Gigaba.
Magaqa accused Gigaba of "pleasing imperialists" when he said the nationalisation debate was hurting foreign investment in South Africa.
The appeals committee previously upheld Magaqa's conviction for making potentially defamatory statements, and suspended him for 18 months unless he apologised to Gigaba within five days or appealed.
It was not only Gigaba's office that was unwilling to comment on the NDC's decision, but the ANCYL too.
On Wednesday, the NDC expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema and suspended its spokesperson Floyd Shivambu for three years.
ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said it had been decided not to talk to the media.
"We are not going to comment. No," said Moonsamy, who is also the chief operations officer of the National Youth Development Agency.
Shivambu was not answering his phone and his voice mailbox was full.
He was found guilty of contravening the ANC's constitution by swearing at a journalist and by issuing a statement, in his capacity as spokesman, about creating regime change in Botswana, in contradiction of ANC policy.
He has been suspended from the ANC for three years.
The Chamber of Mines also declined to comment on Malema, who has been campaigning for the nationalisation of mines.
Chamber spokesperson Jabu Maphalala said on Thursday: "That doesn't have anything to do with us."
'Not the end of the road'
Malema was at his grandmother's house in Seshego, Limpopo, when the NDC announced its decision.
"We must accept that this is the decision, but that is not the end of the road," he said afterwards in a report broadcast on SABC radio news.
"It is still early to celebrate because the road ahead of us is going to be very long and needs men and women... who are very strong.
"If you are weak, you are going to fall in the process," said Malema.
"I'm not a soldier who is prepared to fall in the battle, I will die with my boots on, I will die for what I believe in."
Malema said he had not done anything wrong.
"I did not steal from anybody... I did not kill anybody," he said.
The Times reported that he had not given up hope.
"I am a soldier who is prepared to die in battle. Even if I am expelled from the ANC, my blood will remain black, gold and green. I am prepared to do blood tests to prove that."
According to the newspaper, he said he had expected the decision because he had read media reports.
Malema was expelled after a meeting of the ANC's national disciplinary committee in Johannesburg.
In a statement, Hanekom said Malema was a repeat offender.
He said the NDC had found that Malema had reneged on his membership oath and did not respect the ANC's constitution.
He was found guilty of sowing divisions in the party and of bringing the organisation into disrepute.