Malema charged

2010-04-18 10:11


THE ANC has charged its youth leader Julius Malema with misconduct.

The disciplinary process will take place at a meeting of the ruling party’s top six officials at Luthuli House tomorrow.

The meeting comes just days after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe served Malema with a letter notifying him of pending ­disciplinary action against him.

In the letter Mantashe apparently expressed the ruling party’s displeasure at Malema’s threat to continue singing the song Dubul’ibhunu – albeit in a revised form – and for kicking out BBC journalist Jonah Fisher from an ANCYL press ­conference earlier this month.

Several ANCYL leaders confirmed the existence of the letter and a text message that youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu sent to the league’s provincial leaders informing them that the ANC had charged Malema with ill-discipline.

In the text Shivambu also called on ­provincial leaders to issue statements to local media in support of Malema.

“ANC outgoing secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has written a letter to ANC Youth League president charging him with ill-discipline for speaking on behalf of the youth league on revolutionary songs, expression of shock with the public condemnation and the BBC journalist incident. Provinces are requested to release statements in defence of the president.

Please target your local media and forward all statements to Floyd,” the text says.

Yesterday Shivambu denied any knowledge of Malema being charged. He confirmed the existence of the text message but denied that it came from him.

He said he received it from SACP spokesperson Malesela Maleka. Shivambu then paused briefly and asked someone driving in the same car with him whether he should confirm the charges.

The voice of a male could be heard ­saying, “No! Do not confirm it.”

Shivambu then added: “The president does not know, as well, about that.”

A source in the Eastern Cape ANCYL confirmed that Malema had been charged and that Shivambu had sent the message.

Other ANCYL leaders from the Free State and Limpopo also confirmed it.

Last week Mantashe, ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa and President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned ­Malema’s behaviour.

Zuma and Mantashe implied that there would be sanctions and consequences for Malema’s “alien” behaviour.

After Zuma’s statement Malema expressed shock that the president had publicly rebuked him when there were established guidelines in the ruling party on how to deal with internal squabbles.

Speaking at the funeral service of former South African Congress of Trade Unions leader Leslie Masina at Rhema Church in Randburg, Johannesburg, yesterday, Zuma said it was the ANC, not he, that had rebuked Malema.

“If Zuma said something, don’t say ­Zuma said; it is the ANC. Let us think before we act, particularly in public,” he said.

An ANCYL insider blamed Cosatu and some of Zuma’s close lieutenants in ­Cabinet for putting pressure on Zuma to publicly denounce Malema. The insider said the likes of Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane – a close friend of Malema challenger Lehlogonolo Masoga – were unhappy because they had lost control of Limpopo. ­Masoga lodged an appeal against the outcome of last week’s ANCYL provincial conference, where he lost the race for the league’s provincial chair to Malema’s ally, Frans Moswane.

“They will not succeed. Julius and ­Zuma come a long way. Julius defended Zuma when it was not fashionable to do so,” said the source.

By late Friday afternoon pro-Malema youth leaders were preparing to defend him against what they see as an ANC ­onslaught on their leader.

One of them, KwaZulu-Natal Lower Coast regional secretary Wandile Mkhize said the ruling party had no right to charge Malema because he had spoken or acted on the league’s behalf.

“If the ANC is bitter with the things Julius has said they must charge the youth league as an organisation. If Julius is wrong, he will be disciplined by us members of the youth league,” Mkhize said.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu would neither conform nor deny that the party had charged Malema.

“If he is or he is not, it is an ANC matter. It has nothing to do with the press or the public. Therefore, we would not comment,” Mthembu said yesterday.

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