Malema hearing: ANC disciplinary committee puts foot down

2012-02-13 08:24

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee has rushed to set the record straight over the disciplinary hearing of ANCYL leader Julius Malema and two others today.

This comes amid apparent attempts by the three leaders to postpone the hearing because, they claim, they were only informed of it over the weekend.

The league yesterday issued a statement calling a press conference this morning on its recent lekgotla, but cancelled the briefing a few hours later, saying it would clash with the hearing.

In a statement this morning, chairperson of the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) Derek Hanekom said six hours would be set aside today for the hearing, which was due to start at 8am but didn’t.

Malema is due to ask for his five-year suspension for sowing division within the party to be shortened, while spokesperson Floyd Shivambu would argue in mitigation of his three-year suspension for bringing the party into disrepute.

Youth league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa would argue against his suspended sentence as well as the order for him to apologise to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba for insulting him.

Hanekom said each of the leaders would get two hours to argue his case, while the ANC would also present arguments in aggravation of each sentence.

He said Malema and his colleagues agreed on the date for today’s hearings last Wednesday already in a pre-hearing conference, and they got letters on Thursday to confirm this.

Hanekom also said in the statement that Malema and his colleagues are not being charged for “issues related to the call for nationalisation, the call for expropriation of land as well as the call for economic freedom” as they repeatedly and again recently claimed.

“At no stage were these issues a factor in the current cases. Any argument suggesting that the hearings at any stage had anything to do with these issues is devoid of the truth,” he said.

There were calls at the league’s recent lekgotla, which ended yesterday in Gauteng, that Malema should stay on as president even if he were expelled from the ANC, because he was elected by the league.

In the hearings Malema is likely to argue that all his sanctions in his first hearing in 2010, when he was found guilty of sowing division, were not implemented.

It would therefore be selective to only implement the sanction which states that he would be suspended should he be found guilty again of sowing division in the party.

The appeal committee earlier this month confirmed his guilt on this count.

It is understood that Malema wants to draw the mitigation hearings out as long as possible, while the appeal committee set the deadline for the hearing at 14 days – or until this Saturday.

The hearing today is set to take place at the Gauteng legislature, where barbed wire and police are on hand in case of any trouble.

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