Metro cops prepare for youth gathering

2011-08-29 07:56

Johannesburg metro police had closed roads this morning in anticipation of ANC Youth League members gathering outside Luthuli House ahead of tomorrow’s disciplinary hearing against their top leaders.

“Police are on duty outside Luthuli House,” said Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.

The disciplinary hearing against African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema and his colleagues was scheduled to take place tomorrow, but members were expected to start arriving at the ruling party’s headquarters in Sauer Street today.

Minnaar said Sauer Street was closed between President and Pritchard streets, and President Street was also closed where it crossed Sauer Street.

By 8am, no supporters had arrived.

Minnaar said depending on the situation, the police may re-open the streets later in the morning.

League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said she could not say when and how many supporters were expected.

“It is at the discretion of the membership. If they want to arrive today, they are at liberty to do so. There are many
that will be there during the night for a night vigil. They are showing support for the leadership.”

Malema faces charged alongside league spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy, Kenetswe Mosenogi and treasurer-general Pule Mabe.

The charges included bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in the ANC ranks.

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

The youth league was publicly rebuked by the ANC for this and then apologised, but league national executive member Lerato Mofokeng at the weekend said the league still called for a freer and more democratic society in Botswana.

She indicated that the ANC youth movement’s apology in this regard was more for the “media” and that the movement stood by its statement.

Initially only Malema and Shivambu were charged, but the four other leaders’ names were added to the charge sheet last week.

The league was reportedly hoping to argue in Malema’s defence that he was communicating a resolution of the league’s national executive committee and therefore the entire body should be charged, not just the president.

Last year, Malema pleaded guilty in an ANC disciplinary hearing after he publicly criticised President Jacob Zuma.

The national disciplinary committee at the time said that should Malema be found guilty of provoking serious divisions or a break-down of unity in the organisation within the next two years, his membership of the ANC would be suspended.

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