Tomorrow is J-Day for Malema

2011-11-09 14:18

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema will know by 10am tomorrow whether he is still a member of the ANC or not.

The ruling party will announce its outcome of a disciplinary hearing against the popular youth leader.

But Malema himself won’t be at Luthuli House – which he once called “Revolutionary House” – to receive the verdict from the party’s national disciplinary committee.

In a statement released this afternoon, the youth league said he would be writing exams at Unisa’s Polokwane campus.

One of his legal representatives, either advocate Dali Mpofu or Patric Mtshaulana, will be at the ANC’s headquarters to receive the news on his behalf. His lawyer will be joined by the league’s other top four officials as well as spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, who were all charged with Malema.

Sources close to the hearing have indicated that one of the charges against Malema, related to his calling white people “criminals” who “stole our land”, on a stage he shared with President Jacob Zuma before the local government elections in May, will be dropped.

This leaves only two charges against him: the first (which Shivambu also faced) relates to calling for a regime change in Botswana, which contradicts the ANC’s policy.

The second charge – the clincher – relates to sowing division within the ANC by saying that there had been no leadership in the African Union and SADC since former president Thabo Mbeki had left. This implied that Zuma wasn’t doing a proper job.

Malema received a suspended sentence last year for unfavourably comparing Zuma with Mbeki, and could be kicked out of the party if found guilty of the same offence again.

Although some analysts have speculated that Zuma has lost his appetite to expel Malema during the more than two months that the hearing had dragged on, the league seems to be preparing for the worst.

If Malema is suspended from the ANC tomorrow – a move that the ANC interprets will also end his presidency of the youth league – he is entitled to remain in the party and appeal the decision within 14 days to the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeal.

If this committee upheld Malema’s suspension, he is out of the party, and would have to petition the party’s national executive committee to overturn the decision.

The national executive committee will be meeting at the end of this month.If he still doesn’t have any luck, his ultimate port of appeal is the party’s national elective conference in December next year.

The party’s appeal committee is headed by businessman and ANC heavyweight Cyril Ramaphosa, while its other members are Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, his predecessor Brigitte Mabandla and ANC national executive committee member Jessie Duarte.

None of these leaders is considered to be particularly sympathetic towards Malema.The league’s other officials – deputy president Ronald Lamola; secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa; his deputy, Kenetswe Mosenogi; and treasurer Pule Mabe – have been charged for barging into an office where the ANC’s top officials were meeting, and can expect to be rapped over the knuckles.

It is expected that the chairman of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom, will publicly announce the decision tomorrow morning.

The eNews channel is set to broadcast the press conference live.

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