Youth push for Malema review

2012-05-12 18:41

League wants ANC NEC to reconsider its former leader’s expulsion by ‘powermongers’.

The ANC Youth League’s planned petition to get the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to ­review Julius Malema’s expulsion is aimed at embarrassing President Jacob ­Zuma’s leadership and displaying them as “bloodthirsty” and ­“powermongers”.

Malema’s allies said that ­although the league knew it had ­little chance of winning the war at the ANC NEC meeting, it would push the matter ahead anyway, ­because it’s one of the lobbying points to remove Zuma at the ­elective congress in Mangaung in December.

“The reason is to keep the ­Malema issue and the ill-treatment of the league alive on the agenda of the ANC and the public until Mangaung,” said a Malema ally.

Another Malema ally in the ANC said the league knew its chances of success were minimal but believed that “in an attempt to manage ­tensions” within the ANC the ­party’s top leadership might allow a review “with an intention to ­endorse or slightly amend NDCA (National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal) decisions in an attempt to legitimise the process”.

Malema, suspended league ­secretary Sindiso Magaqa and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu will tomorrow address their first press conference, at the National Press Club in Johannesburg, since they were kicked out of the ANC.

Today the youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola and ­deputy secretary Kenetswe ­Mosenogi – the new faces of the league – will meet ANC leaders to discuss a possible political solution to the expulsion of Malema, Magaqa and Shivambu.

“We need a political platform to talk about the issues,” Lamola said, reiterating that Malema would not be replaced until all options for a review were exhausted.

But two ANC NEC members voiced doubts about the possibility of the league’s petition being ­discussed when the NEC meets on Friday, or even before next month’s policy conference.

An NEC member, who supported Zuma and the disciplinary ­committee’s decisions, said the league could get the matter on the agenda if it wrote to ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe or got an NEC member sympathetic to the youth league to propose the inclusion of the matter on the meeting’s agenda.

But the two processes might take a long time. The matter would first go through the top six ­officials, who would decide ­whether it should be heard at all, in consultation with the national working committee, which ­prepares quarterly reports for the NEC meeting.

“It’s not a given that when you’ve petitioned the NEC the matter will be heard at the next meeting,” said the NEC member.

“Only once it’s been processed by these structures can it be put on the NEC agenda. The officials may choose to meet with the petitioners first, so that can delay the NEC ­discussion.”

The second option would ­depend on the support it enjoyed at the time.

The NEC member said the prospects of the league having that support were “close to nil”.

“There are ministers in the NEC whose president is Jacob Zuma and his term doesn’t end in 2012 like the ANC term, it ends in 2014. No minister will take a risk by standing up and supporting them, except (sports minister Fikile) Mbalula because he’s already done that.”

The second NEC member said there was no recent precedent of the committee arbitrating over a disciplinary matter.

“They (the youth league) will have to give us a policy direction. The youth league has a tendency of taking positions in newspapers without verifying facts,” he said.

There’s also a growing element of fear among NEC members that they might be under watch and likely to be targeted politically if they support the youth league.

Said an NEC member: “As ­president of both the ANC and the state he knows a lot about us. No right-thinking person will want to be the one pushing this at the NEC meeting.”

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