Gwede’s fruit not an invite

2011-09-03 17:10

The disciplinary hearing of the ANC Youth League’s top five leaders on Friday centred on “good common sense and basic manners”, those involved told City Press.

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee will on September 11 rule on whether the league’s top five leaders – president ­Julius Malema, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary­ general Sindiso Magaqa, deputy secretary-general Kenetswe ­Mosenogi and treasurer Pule Mabe – were out of order when they “barged into” a meeting held by the top six officials of the ANC some weeks ago.

Lawyers for the league cited prior commitments, therefore the trial can’t resume ­tomorrow.

The youth league leaders ­argued that they were offered fruit by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe at the meeting they had suppossedly barged ­into and therefore the environment had not been hostile.

“But the fact that you were ­offered fruit does not mean you’re allowed to just walk into any meeting you want, especially one where you were told you were not wanted,” a source with knowledge of proceedings said.

According to those involved it is a “straightforward case” where the disciplinary committee simply needs to decide how serious the offence is and make a ruling.

The youth league leaders argued they had been respectful on that occasion because they had waited outside until Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had left and then knocked before they entered.

Some of Malema’s fellow leaders in the youth league will not be heartbroken if their leader is found guilty and suspended – and that is exactly what they ­expect will happen.

Said a league national executive committee member: “Although we think a final warning will be the most sober opinion, we expect a suspended sentence of maybe two years.”

Malema is expected to use every avenue of appeal available to him if he is found guilty.

He can appeal to the internal ANC appeals committee, then the national executive committee and then the national conference in December next year.

But some of his comrades are not convinced they will be with him every step of the way.

The national executive committee members – who were ­secretly lobbying for Malema to be unseated as league president at the league conference in June – are strategically using his disciplinary hearing in their favour.

One of the members who was asked by City Press whether they would support Malema through his internal battles, diplomatically said: “We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

The national executive committee is expecting Malema to try to appoint his confidant and youth league treasurer-general Pule Mabe in his place, but a lobby in the committee will push for deputy president Ronald Lamola instead.

“If he and Floyd are out of the way, we would prefer Pule,” said the member.

“But the only compromise we will accept is the promotion of the deputy president using the principle of internal succession.”

The Malema hearing will resume on September 11.

Three days have been set aside for the completion of this hearing, the disciplinary committee said.

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