Malema slams ANC disciplinary hearings
Johannesburg - The decision to suspend ANC Youth League leaders was made before the disciplinary hearings started, Julius Malema said on Wednesday.
"There were always signs that the decision was to suspend the leadership," Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.
"A decision to convict and sanction the ANC Youth League leadership was taken by the [ANC] secretary general [Gwede Mantashe] who made his intentions clear in all his statements."
Mantashe had said the African National Congress Youth League had "crossed a line" before the disciplinary hearing started.
"Saying someone crossed a line is a verdict," said Malema.
He said the national disciplinary committee (NDC) was convened "merely" to give the conviction legitimacy.
The ANCYL "totally" disagreed with and rejected the outcome of the disciplinary hearings and would appeal the convictions.
Malema was removed as the ANCYL's president last week after he was found guilty of provoking serious divisions within the ANC and of bringing the party into disrepute.
Malema said it was evident that NDC chaiperson Derek Hanekom had a political agenda.
Hanekom had failed to control his temper and had outbursts during the hearings. For this reason he should have recused himself, said Malema.
The ANCYL had also asked that Susan Shabangu and Collins Chabane recuse themselves from the hearings, but their request was denied.
The disciplinary hearings had been used to settle a political score, said Malema.
There were suspicion and concern over the legitimacy of the hearings.
Malema said this was the most crucial time to defend the ANCYL.
"Our struggle will never be undermined, victory is certain," he said.