Malema loses another round
Cape Town - The ANC's national disciplinary panel on Sunday dismissed argument by Youth League leader Julius Malema that it breached the constitution of the ruling party.
"The NDC delivered its ruling on the application by comrade Julius Malema that the NDC breached the ANC constitution by releasing to the media its finding on the application to quash the charges," the head of the panel, Derek Hanekom, said.
"The NDC dismissed the application. A full copy of this ruling is also sent out in full to the media," he added.
In a separate statement, the panel then explained that rule 25 of the constitution was not breached because the findings made public on September 2 were not the final outcome of the hearing but merely related to a procedural matter.
"The publication in full of the ruling on the application to quash or drop charges dealt solely with matters of procedure and did not deal with either the content or substance of the charges, or any evidence in relation to the charges."
It added that the decision to publish the findings was warranted because information leaked to the media might have created confusion, and that Malema had not suffered prejudice.
Hanekom said the panel had agreed to a request that Malema not appear before it on Monday because of judgment in his hate speech trial in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg was due the same day.
"An application was made by the parties in the light of the Equality Court judgment to be delivered in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday 12 September 2011, to adjust the schedule of proceedings," Hanekom said in a statement.
"Consequently, no hearings will take place on Monday, 12 September 2011."
Hanekom said that on Sunday the panel would start hearing the disciplinary case against youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and secretary general Sindiso Magaqa.
He said closing argument in the consolidated case against Malema, Magaqa, deputy league president Ronald Lamola, deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi and treasurer general Pule Mabe would be heard on Tuesday.
The five have been charged with disrupting a meeting of ANC leaders.
"Once the above cases are concluded, the hearings against comrade Malema will resume," Hanekom added.
Malema faces further charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division in the party. These relate to his calls for land seizures from white "criminals" and for a change of government in Botswana. He risks suspension or expulsion from the ruling party.
Sunday's hearing took place at an undisclosed venue in Gauteng for fear that Malema's supporters would again run amok at the ANC's headquarters in downtown Johannesburg, where he first appeared before the panel a fortnight ago.
The Sunday press reported that the hearing was being held in Kliprivier, south of Johannesburg, but ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said he could not confirm this.
Meanwhile, SABC news reported on Sunday that there was a "huge deployment of security personnel" around Kliprivier near Kibler Park, south of Johannesburg - where the "hearing of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was underway".
On the eve of the sitting, Malema reportedly referred to his standoff with the ANC leadership as a war.
The Sunday Times quoted him as telling supporters in Alexandra: "This is a war... But we can guarantee that we will win."
He added: "In 2012, the ANC will correct itself and elect good leaders."
Judge Colin Lamont is expected to pass judgment on Monday relating to charges brought against Malema by Afrikaner civil rights group AfriForum for singing of Dubul' Ibhunu [Shoot the Boer].