Malema: ‘The gloves are off’

2011-11-10 11:34

“The gloves are off.”

This was the message of embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to a gathering of about 150 supporters in Polokwane after he was suspended from the ruling party for five years.

Malema didn’t attend the verdict of his disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House in Johannesburg as he was writing exams at Unisa’s Polokwane campus.

Malema told supporters he would fight his adversaries “toe to toe” and that he would appeal the ruling.

It took almost two hours for Derek Hanekom, head of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee, to tell South Africa that Malema won’t be a member of the ANC and the league for the next five years.

This was because Malema was unanimously found guilty of sowing division in the ANC by saying that, ever since Thabo Mbeki had left the presidency, there had been no leadership in the African Union and Southern African Development Community.

He has 14 days to appeal to the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeal, headed by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.

An ANC source close to Malema said he should go through all the proper processes, and “there is still a long road ahead”, meaning that this matter is almost sure to arise at the ANC’s conference next year.

The league’s spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, was suspended from the party for three years after he called Pulic Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba names and questioned his credibility after Gigaba told a business gathering that nationalisation wasn’t ANC policy.

He was also found guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute for swearing at a Media24 journalist.

The league’s officials – Malema; deputy president Ronald Lamola; secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa; his deputy, Kenetswe Mosenogi; and treasurer Pule Mabe – had their ANC membership withdrawn for three years, but this punishment was suspended for two years.

This means if they are found guilty of the same offence again, this punishment would come into effect.This came after they barged into a meeting of the ANC’s officials, which included President Jacob Zuma, in Luthuli House in August.

This morning’s briefing, broadcast live on television and radio and attended by all the members on the ANC’s disciplinary committee, took place in the packed foyer of the ANC’s headquarters, made more stuffy after the outside doors were closed to keep street noises out.

Hanekom paused midway through reading the 34-page ruling titled “Public announcement of the national disciplinary committee” to wipe his brow and ask: “Is anyone else hot too?”

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