Sexwale could be ace up Malema’s sleeve

2011-10-01 19:55

The ace up ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s sleeve may be a Tokyo.

City Press understands that ­Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale may appear for Malema, who is appearing on various disciplinary charges from Thursday to Saturday.

He faces charges of sowing division in the ruling party and bringing the party into disrepute.

It’s a make or break week for Malema.
The most serious charge Malema faces relates to a youth league resolution to mobilise for regime change in Botswana.

Sources believe that Sexwale may explain the ANC’s historic relationship with Botswana.

A Sexwale supporter said: “He will not say much. He will speak about the historic relations between the ANC and the country of Botswana.

“He is not there to nail anybody. The information is supposed to benefit both sides.”

The rest of a three-pronged strategy by the Malema defence is to suggest that by charging the ­entire national executive of the youth league, the aim is not to discipline but to neuter the youth body, as well as draw on history to show that it has always been an ­autonomous structure.

Former ANCYL secretary-general Rapu Molekane has presented expert evidence on its historic ­autonomy from the mother body, but made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of Malema’s league.

A source said the evidence of Molekane, who was one of the drafters of the league’s constitution, will be used by Malema’s team to argue that he was not guilty of wrongdoing by voicing his organisation’s view on Botswana.

Malema’s team will argue that the ANC has given material support to Botswana’s main opposition party, the Botswana National Front (BNF).

But ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa told City Press that the ANC has never supported BNF in any way.

To bolster its argument on autonomy, the league’s defence will draw upon the tactics of the
ANC Women’s League.

Malema’s defence team will point out how, between 1991 and 2002, the women’s league decided on 30% representation of women in ANC leadership positions. It then lobbied for 50-50 representation, which eventually led to this being adopted as ANC policy in 2007.

The defence will also be comparing Malema to Lulu Johnson, who took over from fiery ANCYL leader Peter Mokaba.

It is not clear how they will do so, as ­Johnson never publicly disagreed with ­Nelson Mandela on policy ­issues when he led the organisation in the 1990s.

A former youth league leader said: “There was an instance when Mandela called us to order when the youth league took a view that the Springbok brand must be changed. Mandela took us through a two-hour lecture in his office at Shell House.”

The former youth leader further said the charge related to violating non-racialism is not strong.

President Jacob Zuma was on the stage at a May election rally in Galeshewe when Malema said whites were criminals for stealing land from black people and did not chide Malema.

He (Malema) should have been reprimanded on the spot by Zuma.

Malema is represented by lawyers Dali Mpofu and Patrick Mtshaulana, while the ANC is represented by Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel and former activist and senior counsel Gcina Malindi.

The disciplinary committee is expected to announce its verdict on all the charges facing Malema and the top leadership of the ­ANCYL as soon as it concludes its work.

Meanwhile, Malema is expected to announce the formal disbandment of the KwaZulu-Natal league leadership at a press conference in Durban.

The ANC 2012 succession battle is at the core of Malema’s move, as KwaZulu-Natal backs President Jacob Zuma’s re-election, while Malema’s faction prefers a change in the ANC leadership.

The internal squabbles within the youth league, far from helping Malema consolidate his grip, might provide ammunition to those in the ANC who want to see the league’s leadership dissolved and the party placed under an ­interim leadership.

» In the Western Cape, Malema is facing opposition from a coloured faction which has denounced what it sees as “crude African chauvinism” and is urging a change in the leadership.

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