Hanekom: Malema must have a good excuse
Johannesburg - The ANC's national disciplinary committee chairperson, Derek Hanekom, said on Wednesday that hospitalised youth league leader Julius Malema's legal team will need good grounds to have his hearing postponed.
Malema was admitted to a private hospital in Polokwane earlier on Wednesday, where he is in a stable condition.
Hanekom said the committee was keen to conclude the hearing as soon as possible, and didn't want unnecessary delays.
"At the same time we want a fair process throughout," he added.
"We will meet tomorrow [Thursday] with Malema's representatives and hopefully we will get information on Malema's state of health and when he is expected to be discharged... you know he might be serious.
"Normally one is not admitted into hospital with a mere cold."
Hanekom said it was the right of Malema's team to make an application for a postponement, but that it would have to be on "good grounds".
"I cannot comment on hearsay or make judgements on rumours. We will deal with the facts once it's in front of us."
Malema faces charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division within party ranks.
He recently said the ANCYL would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change.
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 Mosenogi.
Earlier, Malema's lawyer Dali Mpofu said he would ask for a postponement of the hearing, and seemed confident that it would be put on hold.
"Yes I think they will postpone it because he is in hospital and it cannot continue without him."
Mpofu said he did not have more details.
The SABC had reported earlier that Malema was suffering from "flu symptoms".
The ANCYL was relatively tight-lipped on the matter, other than releasing a short statement.
"The ANCYL are assured that president Julius Malema is in a stable condition," it said.
The league said a doctor requested Malema to stay in the hospital for observation until he was in full health.
"The reasons for the hospitalisation are not major. He will be discharged soon."
It declined to give more details on his condition, saying Malema's health was a private matter and urged the media not to pry.
"Members of the media are therefore humbly requested to not make enquiries concerning this, nor pry into the privacy of the president's health, because doing so is unethical, immoral and despicable."