Malema gets mitigation reprieve
Johannesburg - Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema
has been given a 14-day reprieve to argue for a lesser sentence after he
failed to have his suspension overturned.
The ANC's national disciplinary committee of appeals
(NDCA) referred the matter back to the national disciplinary committee
on Saturday for review.
"The NDC will determine an appropriate sanction after
hearing evidence of mitigation and aggravation of sanctions that the
parties may wish to present," appeals committee chair Cyril Ramaphosa
said at the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg.
He said referring the matter back to the disciplinary
committee was in the interest of justice and was necessary in keeping
with the spirit and objectives of the ANC's constitution.
Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of discipline in
the organisation, saying it was "one of the key pillars in the life of
The decision was communicated to the youth league shortly before it was made public, he said.
The NDC - which had initially found Malema and his
executive guilty of provoking serious divisions within the ruling party
and bringing it into disrepute - was instructed to provide guidelines
to ensure a speedy conclusion.
Malema had previously said the league would send a team
to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring
about regime change.
ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was charged with him
along with deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe,
secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe
Shivambu's three year suspension for contravening the
constitution of the ANC by swearing at a journalist and issuing the
statement on Botswana had also been upheld.
Earlier, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said this meant both
Malema and Shivambu were stripped of their titles and party membership
with immediate effect.
However, the ANC released a statement on Saturday evening distancing themselves from Khoza's comment.
"Comrade Keith has already apologised for speaking out
of turn and without a mandate on a matter that resides with the NDC and
other leading structures of the ANC," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.
Sapa understands that their suspension would only come into effect once the mitigation and aggravation processes were completed.
The NDCA had also upheld a conviction against Magaqa for making potentially defamatory statements.
Magaqa was ordered to apologise to Public Enterprise
Minister Malusi Gigaba within five days for his "derogatory" statement
against him or face 18 months suspension.
He had accused Gigaba of "imperialist sympathies "
after he criticised the league over its comments on the nationalisation
Ramaphosa said the league had "misread" a provision of the ruling party's constitution.
He was referring to an argument by the youth leaders
that the national officials of the African National Congress did not
have the power to institute disciplinary proceedings against them in
terms of the party's constitution.
The league's appeal before the party's disciplinary
appeals panel was largely based on the claim that the committee did not
give them opportunity to argue about their sentences at the end of the
One charge dropped
The only charge that was dropped by the appeals'
committee was a minor one - when Malema and his co-leaders in the ANCYL
top five barged into a meeting of the ANC's top six officials.
Ramaphosa said there was no evidence, they did this “deliberately”.
On Saturday afternoon, Malema, Shivambu, Magaqa and
Lamola went to visit ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at her home
in Soweto, south of Johannesburg.
Shivambu told the eNews channel that they were there to
visit Madikizela-Mandela who was recovering at home following a knee
Earlier on Saturday she issued a statement saying she had no communication with any of her offices regarding the visit.
Madikizela-Mandela was a strong Malema supporter and
had even criticised the disciplinary process instituted against him by
the mother body.