ANC expels ‘repeat offender’ Malema

2012-02-29 20:43

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been expelled from the ANC for sowing division in its ranks.

This means he would have to vacate his position as youth league president, but he has been given 14 days to appeal the decision to the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA).

After hearing his pleas in mitigation of his initial five-year suspension, the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) tonight said it had become convinced that suspension would not “achieve the purpose of rehabilitating” Malema.

This comes after the party’s prosecutors argued successfully for his five-year suspension to be aggravated, while Malema pleaded for mitigation.

In its long-awaited 10-page statement, released late this evening, NDC chairperson Derek Hanekom said Malema was a “repeat offender”.

Malema had been found guilty of two “serious offences” in under two years, showed no remorse, and was not prepared to be disciplined by the ANC.

This was viewed in a very serious light by the ANC, Hanekom said.

Malema’s “unrepentant attitude and non-acceptance of the findings of the disciplinary machinery of the ANC” counted against him in his mitigation hearing.

Hanekom said the NDC was “particularly disturbed” by evidence given during the hearing in mitigation of his sentence earlier this month.

Even though Malema vowed to subject himself to party discipline, he said:

» under cross-examination, that he did not agree with the NDCA’s decision to uphold the verdict against him;

» that he was not persuaded by the NDCA’s findings and will continue to challenge the outcome internally because he was unfairly found guilty;

» that the “real battle will start” after the disciplinary hearings “when the ANC has to persuade the youth”.

This last statement, according to the ANC, “constitutes a threat and is tantamount to holding the ANC to ransom”.
Hanekom said Malema had a right to disagree with the NDC’s initial findings, announced in November, but his refusal to accept the NDCA’s findings was “clearly untenable”.

By implication this meant “the likelihood of him respecting the ANC constitution is remote”.

Hanekom said Malema was “in effect reneging on his membership oath”.

The expulsion brings Malema’s eventful political career closer to the abyss.

The NDCA could still decide to overturn the expulsion and convert it back to a suspension. If Malema fails here, the ANC’s national executive committee can review the verdict and expulsion.

His last resort is the party’s national conference in December that can review any decision by a structure of the party.

Malema was in his hometown Seshego when the party’s NDC decided on the final verdict, and informed party prosecutors as well as ANC officials about it.

The process took all afternoon and lasted into the early evening.

Malema’s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, said due to short notice neither him, nor Advocate Patric Mtshaulana or Malema could be at Luthuli House for the announcement.

It is likely that Malema would, in his appeal to the NDCA, argue that he was given too short notice about today’s decision.

The three-year suspension from the ANC of league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was upheld. Hanekom said he had shown remorse for swearing at a journalist, but no remorse for saying that the Botswana government should be overthrown.

This “brought the ANC into disrepute and undermined the ANC’s commitment to respect the sovereignty of states”, Hanekom said.

Both his offences were regarded as “serious”, Hanekom said.

League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa’s membership of the ANC will be suspended for three years if he was found guilty again of misconduct within the next three years.

He was also told to apologise to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba within 15 days for defaming him.
Shivambu and Magaqa have also been given 14 days to appeal.

The ANC said in a statement it welcomed and respected the findings. “We call on our members and those of our leagues to respect this decision,” party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

The league said in a statement earlier today that it would not be commenting on the verdict.

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