Why Malema lost

2011-09-02 09:43

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) has turned down ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s application to have charges against him dismissed.

“The NDC dismissed comrade Julius Malema’s application to have the charges quashed,” NDC chairman Derek Hanekom said in a statement today.

Malema brought an application on Tuesday to have the charges dropped. The committee considered the appeal on Wednesday and yesterday.

“The NDC has decided to release the entire ruling to the media for the benefit of its members, its alliance partners and the general public,” he said.

The hearing would resume on Monday.

The NDC answered each of the 22 arguments contained in Malema’s application. He argued he was unaware of clauses in the ANC’s constitution preventing him from making certain comments.

“On joining the ANC, the respondent undertook to observe discipline as set out in ... the constitution. The respondent is also bound ... to respect the constitution and defend the unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles, and to combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism,” the NDC stated.

It argued that as a leader and member of the ANC’s national executive committee, Malema was in a position to have full knowledge and information of party policies.

“The NDC [therefore] finds that the respondent was either aware of, or ought to have been aware of, the code of conduct in the ANC constitution governing misconduct.”

Malema argued the rules in the ANC constitution, under which his disciplinary hearing would be initiated, were unreasonable.

The NDC said in its report the ANC had a large membership and had been established for almost a century.

“Over the years there has been no outcry from its members that the code of conduct ... is unreasonable, or that it causes confusion.”

The party’s constitution was adopted by its members at a national conference and had met no resistance.

Against this backdrop, the NDC found Malema’s claim that the constitution was unreasonable and confusing without merit.

Malema further argued that there was no clause in the ANC’s constitution governing what members could say.

The NDC found the constitution encompassed both actions and utterances, hence this argument was ill-founded.

Malema had also claimed the charges were not put to him within a “reasonable” time.

The NDC accepted this, but said it was difficult to determine what constituted a “reasonable” timeframe.

After the announcement to journalists that Malema’s appeal had been quashed, youth league supporters sang louder than before.

They waited for party leaders to make an announcement in Beyers Naude Square, across the road from ANC headquarters in central Joburg.

Protesters carried placards expressing contempt for President Jacob Zuma and support for Malema.

One read, in reference to the stones and bottles youth league members threw at reporters on Tuesday: “Apologies to our journalists, we wish you a speedy recovery – from ANCYL Alexandra branch.”

Malema was brought before the disciplinary committee on charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in the party’s ranks.

He 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 cooperation with imperialists” and “undermining the African agenda”.

Charged with him are league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy-president Ronald Lamola, treasurer-general Pule Mabe, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary-general Kenetswe Masenogi.

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