ANCYL constitution changes to be probed

2012-04-30 07:30

Suspected fraudulent changes to the ANC Youth League’s (ANCYL) constitution, to prevent a suspension from the ANC from applying automatically to league members, are set to be investigated by the ANC.

Such fraud is punishable by expulsion and could be another heavy blow to the league in the wake of the expulsion of its leader, Julius Malema, from the ANC and the youth league.

The investigation is one of the recommendations contained in the full 41-page ruling of the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA) on Malema and fellow league leaders former secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, who have both been suspended.

In the ruling, obtained by City Press, the NDCA said it had no “cogent evidence” that the right procedure was followed by the league in amending article 11.2 of the league’s constitution, allegedly at its conference in June last year.

The ANCYL constitution previously said that penalties imposed by the ANC by a league member will “have the same application in all structures of the ANC Youth League”.

But the code of conduct in its constitution was changed to say penalties “shall be subjected to the internal enquiry by the corresponding disciplinary structures of the ANC Youth League”.

Malema first unveiled these changes in his “fightback” press conference in November, after the ANC’s national disciplinary committee first ruled that Malema was suspended for five years.

City Press at the time reported claims by various league members who were surprised to hear about the amendment, and who said they knew nothing of it even though they attended the league’s June conference.

The ANC also said it had not received a copy of the updated constitution since the conference, but the league said this was because it never had a chance to meet with the ANC properly before the disciplinary action started.

Malema’s lawyers, advocates Dali Mpofu and Patric Mtshaulana, used this amendment to argue against Malema’s expulsion from the league in his second appeal – when they tried to get his sentence of expulsion overturned.

The NDCA didn’t accept the argument because it said Malema should have given the committee a copy of the amendments when he appealed his suspension the first time.

This would have allowed the committee “to test the veracity of the latest version” of the league’s constitution, “in particular whether due notice of the proposed amendment was given to the ANC, whether prior notification of the proposed amendment was given to delegates to the ANC Youth League conference in June 2011 and whether the amendment was properly effected in terms of the ANC Youth League Constitution”.

But the committee also said that, even if he had used the amendments during his first appeal, the “current formulation” of article 11.2 would have been rejected because it would have resulted in these anomalies:

» It would have created a “legal impossibility” in terms of the principle of double jeopardy, because “a person cannot be tried and found guilty twice for the same offence”;

» Youth league members would be “rendered immune from sanction for committing acts of misconduct in terms of the ANC constitution” and as an ANC member;

» It would result in the creation of an “accountability-free zone”.

The committee also argued that any member of the league above 18 years must also be a member of the ANC.

It said the ANC’s constitution was above that of the league because the league, although it is autonomous, is not independent from the party.

The ANC is set to re-look its own constitution at its policy conference in June to make sure that it is clear on this issue, a source involved in the review process said.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.

» Tell us what you think: Leave your comment below or comment on our Facebook page or on Twitter @City_Press

» Did you know?
City Press has an iPad app. Find us in the app store

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.