Malema should have known better - ANC
Johannesburg - The ANC's National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) turned down ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's application to have charges against him dismissed, a statement released on Friday said.
"The NDC dismissed comrade Julius Malema's application to have the charges quashed," chairperson of the NDC Derek Hanekom said.
The NDC considered the appeal on Wednesday and Thursday after Malema made an application on Tuesday to have the disciplinary charges against him dropped.
"The NDC has decided to release the entire ruling to the media for the benefit of its members, its Alliance Partners and the general public," he said.
The hearing would resume on Monday.
Malema's application detailed 22 arguments with the NDC answering against each of them.
Malema argued that he was unaware of clauses in the ANC's constitution that forbade him from making certain comments.
The NDC found the constitution encompassed both actions and utterances, hence this argument was ill-founded.
"On joining the ANC, the respondent undertook to observe discipline as set out in ... the constitution. The respondent is also bound ... to respect the constitution and defend the unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles and to combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism," the NDC stated.
It argued that as a leader and member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, Malema was in a position to have full knowledge and information of the policies of the ANC.
"The NDC [therefore] finds that the respondent was either aware of or ought to have been aware of the code of conduct in the ANC constitution governing misconduct."
ANC constitution 'unreasonable'
Malema argued the rules in the ANC constitution, under which his disciplinary hearing would be initiated, were unreasonable.
The NDC said in its report the ANC had a large membership and had been established for almost a century.
"Over the years there has been no outcry from its members that the code of conduct... is unreasonable, or that it causes confusion."
The party's constitution was adopted by its members at a national conference and had met no resistance. Against this background, the NDC found Malema's claim that the constitution was unreasonable and confusing without merit.
Malema had also claimed the charges were not put to him within a "reasonable" time. The NDC accepted this, but said it was difficult to determine what constituted a "reasonable" timeframe.
After the announcement to the media that Malema's appeal had been quashed, Youth League supporters sang louder than before.
Protesters carried placards expressing contempt for President Jacob Zuma and support for Malema.
Another read: "Apologies to our journalists, we wish you a speedy recovery - from ANCYL Alexandra branch".
This was after stones, bottles and rocks were thrown at journalists and police on Tuesday.
Malema was brought before the disciplinary committee on charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.
He recently said the league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and to help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and undermining the "African agenda".
Charged with him are ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Masenogi.
All except Shivambu would appear before the committee on Friday. His disciplinary hearing had been postponed to a later date.
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