Double blow for ANC Youth League

2012-04-25 06:56

The ANC Youth League was dealt a double blow last night as the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA) not only confirmed its leader, Julius Malema’s expulsion - as was widely expected - but also suspended its secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa, for a year.

It also confirmed the three-year suspension of league spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, turning down the ANC’s argument that he should be suspended for five years.

The ruling - made public late last night after the NDCA consulted its own lawyers, informed the league’s lawyers, and then briefed ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe - means that the league’s appeal options have been exhausted.

They can now turn to the ANC’s national executive committee or its national conference in December for a review of the decision. It could also go to court, but although Malema has mentioned it as a possibility, it is understood that the league isn’t keen.

Magaqa’s suspension means that the league not only has to decide on who would replace Malema, but might also want to replace Magaqa - a fierce Malema loyalist.

The NDCA suspended him because it said he didn’t provide it with proof that he had apologised to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

This meant the sentence of a one-year suspension, for not apologising to Gigaba, immediately kicks in.

Magaqa published his apology to Gigaba in a press release, and followed this by withdrawing his appeal against his suspended sentence just before he was due to file his heads of argument, on April 18.

The NDCA, however, ruled that this was “of no consequence” and that Magaqa withdrew his appeal “to frustrate the (NDCA) by precluding it from arguing for a possible increase in the sanction” and was an “abuse of the process”.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement last night it welcomed the decision, which “brings to finality a matter that has been under way for more than nine months”.

Mthembu said “it has been a difficult and painful decision to subject some of our comrades to a disciplinary process and the resultant sanctions. This had to be done in the defence of the organisation and affirming of the ANC constitution.”

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