The end of Malema
Xolani Mbanjwa, Carien du Plessis and Charl du Plessis, City Press
Johannesburg - Not long ago he was the golden boy of Polokwane. On Saturday, ANC Youth League supporters urinated on a Julius Malema T-shirt and set it alight.
This happened minutes after ANC leader and top businessman Cyril Ramaphosa all but shut down Malema’s eventful political career.
Ramaphosa, who chairs the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeal, confirmed Malema’s conviction of sowing division in the party.
On hearing the news in the streets of Polokwane and Malema’s home town of Seshego, young men were dancing, doing wheelspins in their cars and burning T-shirts emblazoned with Malema’s face on them.
While Malema’s detractors were celebrating his demise, the youth league leader and his confidants descended on the Soweto house of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a struggle stalwart and staunch Malema supporter.
Malema scored a hollow victory by being allowed to argue in mitigation of sentence against his five-year censure. Ramaphosa emphasised that the ANC would also be given an opportunity to argue why Malema’s term of suspension should be aggravated.
But it was clear that Malema would be kicked out of the ruling party for a period of time. A suspended sentence he was slapped with in 2010 could kick in as soon as tomorrow, when the ANC’s top six officials meet.
Sources close to Malema said the leader was strongly considering taking the ANC to court. He believed he wasn’t given fair treatment, they said.
Apart from his political troubles, Malema’s suspicious business practices are currently under investigation by the Hawks, the Public Protector and the South African Revenue Service.