Malema furore based on rumours - ANC
Johannesburg - The ANC on Tuesday questioned why it should take disciplinary
action against youth leader Julius Malema, based on "rumours".
"Why would we be taking disciplinary action on the basis of allegations
that are made? We don't act on rumours," African National Congress spokesperson
Jackson Mthembu told Sapa.
He was reacting to a report in The Star newspaper on Tuesday that Malema had
criticised President Jacob Zuma at a weekend conference in Limpopo, a move that
could land him in hot water with the ruling party.
"All we are saying is, even if we were to take disciplinary action, we
won't tell you," added Mthembu.
Last May, Malema had to make a public apology to Zuma after criticising him
An ANC disciplinary committee also warned him that, should he be found
guilty of contravening rule 25.5 (i) of the ANC constitution within the next
two years, his membership would be summarily suspended.
ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu questioned the accuracy of
Tuesday's newspaper report.
But The Star newspaper said it stood by its story, which quoted Malema as
saying, referring to the situation in Libya: "South Africa voted in favour
of imperialists, and we cannot smile about that.
"The ANC of Nelson Mandela would never have voted for the killing of
fellow Africans imposed by our former masters.
"Since he got into power, comrade Zuma has been surrounded by bad
advisers. I'm dismayed and shocked at the way our country makes its decisions.
How can they vote for the interests of the UN and the United States of America,
a country which clearly wants control over oil reserves?"
Shivambu said Malema had criticised the government's move for supporting a
United Nations no-fly zone resolution in Libya, where leader Muammar Gaddafi's
rule was under attack.
But he said Malema did not personally attack Zuma.
"He [Malema] never said that. He never said anything about all those
things," Shivambu told Sapa, claiming that The Star reporter was not at
No mention of Zuma
In a statement issued later on Tuesday morning, Shivambu said: "The ANC
Youth League is in possession of an unedited video footage of the address by
ANCYL president and it shows that there was no mention of President Jacob Zuma
on the address."
But the English daily said three journalists had worked on the story and one
of them had attended the conference and had made notes of Malema's comments.
Malema's disciplinary action last May came after several incidents,
including the youth leader chasing a BCC reporter out of a press conference
after calling him a "bastard" and a "bloody agent". He also
expressed support for Zimbabwe's Zanu-FP while Zuma was trying to finalise a
political settlement between them and Movement for Democratic Change
formations; and Malema complained about being publicly rebuked by Zuma.
He also sang the words "shoot the boer" in public after it was
banned by a high court.
The youth leader was ordered to make a public apology to Zuma, attend a
course at the ANC's political school and pay a R10 000 fine to a youth
"I make this apology unconditionally as I accept that as a leader of
the ANC and of the ANC Youth League my conduct and public utterances should at
all times reflect respect and restraint," he said in his statement of
apology last May.