Malema set to escape charges

2010-04-20 10:18

Johannesburg - ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema will not be disciplined by the party despite defying President Jacob Zuma's warning to stop inflammatory comments, a youth league source said on Tuesday.

The source said it had been decided after a five hour meeting of the top six officials of the ANC, including Zuma, that the Youth League should deal with Malema rather than the ruling party.

"His comments were made on behalf of the Youth League and not the ANC. We are independent and if there needs to be any disciplinary hearing it should be conducted by us," said the source who attended the meeting.

No comment from ANC

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe declined to comment, saying that the party's position would be revealed at a press conference later on Tuesday.

Malema came under fire from Zuma earlier this month over his support for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and his controversial land reform policies.

Zuma also rebuked Malema for continuing to sing apartheid era songs that racially polarised South Africans and embarrassing the ruling party by throwing a foreign journalist out of a news conference.

"Malema's comments were made on behalf of the Youth League and individuals should not be singled out," the source said.

Meanwhile, the ANC said in a statement on Tuesday morning that it distanced itself from a Sowetan article, which said that Malema is "off the hook" and that "there are no charges against Malema".

The ANC said its spokesperson was misquoted, and the meeting on Monday was to discuss the ANCYL programme of action, and not Malema's impending disciplinary hearing.