I didn't pre-empt Malema hearing outcome - Zuma
Carien du Plessis, City Press
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has denied that he pre-empted the outcome of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing by saying they should get a new president after the process has finished.
"The only thing I said was we have a constitution in the ANC... And once [the national disciplinary committee of appeal’s] decision has been taken, the youth league will have to take a decision because of the constitution of the ANC, they must follow that process," he said at a press conference this afternoon addressed by all six of the ANC's top officials.
The league has accused Zuma of pressuring the appeal committee to uphold Malema’s expulsion, and it is understood that Malema was thinking of using this as evidence of an unfair process if he took the ANC to court.
Zuma, however, refused to comment on a question whether he would like to have his day in court on answering his dropped corruption charges, following a call by youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.
"It is sub judice," Zuma said.
The press conference, where all six officials spoke, was intended to be a show of unity following recent comments by Malema, saying that Zuma has led the ANC into a dictatorship.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who led the press conference, bemoaned the fact that "some individuals within the ANC have continuously utilised the platforms of our respected centenary celebrations to sow divisions and discord within the organisation".
He said the divisions were aimed at the officials but also along "narrow ethnic and racial lines".
Although campaigning for leadership wasn't foreign to the ANC, "bickering and negative lobbying" should stop.
He said party officials found themselves in "compromising situations" if they were invited to meetings where other ANC leaders were "denigrated and insulted".
He said Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe recently found himself at a meeting in Limpopo where he had to chastise people for wearing T-shirts with his face on.
Mantashe said if there was a dictatorship in the ANC, meetings of the national executive committee wouldn’t last three or four days due to debates.