Rights group may drop charges against Malema
Pietermaritzburg - Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema will have to wait until Wednesday to know whether charges levelled against him by the SA Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) have been dropped.
This emerged after a meeting held in Pietermaritzburg between Malema and the Samrem officials on Tuesday evening.
Samrem spokesperson Ashwin Singh said there was a consensus for charges to be dropped, but added that the move had to be communicated broadly.
“There is general consensus for charges against Malema to be withdrawn. However, we need a mandate from the executive committee to finalise this,” said Singh to the media after the meeting.
He added that a meeting would take place on Wednesday where the decision would be taken.
Malema, who was accompanied by suspended ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivhambu and league spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy, described the meeting as important.
“As Africans we show respect by talking person to person. Telephonic conversation would not have been sufficient in dealing with the issue,” said Malema.
The meeting was prompted by Malema’s reported derogatory reference to Indians, which irked Samrem and led to the filing of charges against the youth league president.
Samrem laid charges of crimen injuria against Malema on November 4 at the Mountain Rise police station in Pietermaritzburg after he referred to Indians as "makula" [which has been translated as meaning "coolies"] during a speech in Gauteng.
Singh described the suspended ANCYL president as polite, courteous and dignified, adding that he had won members over.
Malema has said he had meant no offence. He also said he would not use the word again to refer to South Africans of Indian origin.
Tuesday’s meeting caused a lot of excitement in the Pietermaritzburg CBD as heavily armed police officers and the media camped outside the venue of the meeting, catching the attention of the locals.