Malema gets mitigation reprieve

2012-02-05 00:00

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 ANC".

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 Mosenogi.

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.

Confusion

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 of mines.

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 disciplinary process.

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 operation.

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.

- SAPA

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  malusi gigaba  |  winnie ­madikizela-mandela  |  julius malema  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  johannesburg  |  politics
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