Malema, Shivambu disciplinary hearing dates set

2011-08-20 07:32

The disciplinary hearings of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu will take place on August 30 and 31.

“We believe this gives them adequate opportunity to prepare themselves for the case,” ANC national disciplinary committee chairperson Derek Hanekom told eNews on Friday.

“The members have already been informed of their rights under the party’s constitution, including their right to appeal whatever the outcome of the hearing might be.

“These matters will again be presented to the charged members. So, as the charged member sits in front of us he will be informed of his rights and the charges will be presented to him, and then the charges will be dealt with in more detail by those who have levelled the charges,” Hanekom told the broadcaster.

Malema and Shivambu would be “charged individually”.

“The member then will be given the opportunity to counter those charges, or to defend themselves against those charges, and at the end of the day there will be a ruling by the national disciplinary committee as a whole.

Hanekom confirmed that the ANC – through its national officials – yesterday served charges on the two over comments made about Botswana.

The national officials included ANC president Jacob Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Thandi Modise, treasurer-general Mathews Phosa and chairperson Baleka Mbete.

“Both have been charged with various violations of the ANC constitution, including bringing the ANC into disrepute through utterances and statements on Botswana and sowing divisions in the ranks of the African National Congress.”

Malema and Shivambu would be entitled to representation by an ANC member in good standing.

“We are not commenting on that... we are not commenting on that at all,” Shivambu said.

Malema recently said the league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change. It believed the government there was “in full co-operation with imperialists” and undermining the “African agenda”.

The ANC publicly rebuked the league. The league in turn said it did not believe it was in the wrong or going against ANC policy. It expressed disappointment at being publicly rebuked before the matter had been discussed internally.

Mantashe said the league’s challenging of the ruling party publicly was a “serious transgression”.

The youth league withdrew the statement on Botswana and apologised to its ruling body.

Opposition parties gave the disciplinary action the thumbs-up yesterday.

The United Democratic Movement said it was long overdue. UDM secretary-general Bongani Msomi said Malema had been acting like a bull in a china shop for far too long, and South Africans had borne the brunt of his utterances.
“The damage his blind insolence has done to our economy is incalculable.”

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Anton Alberts said Malema should also have been charged with bringing the ANC into disrepute with his “racist comments against white people”.

Last year an ANC disciplinary hearing found Malema guilty of a public attack on Zuma. He pleaded guilty to this charge.

Speaking to reporters on April 11 last year he criticised Zuma for rebuking him in public and compared him to his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.

At the time the ANC’s disciplinary committee said that should Malema be found guilty of provoking serious divisions or a breakdown of unity in the organisation within the next two years, his party membership would be suspended.

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