No ANC double standards: Zuma

By Drum Digital
23 July 2012

The ANC did not have double standards in disciplining its members, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday in an interview broadcast on Talk Radio 702 and its sister station 567 CapeTalk.

He had been asked why the African National Congress did not take action against its spokesman Jackson Mthembu when he was arrested for drunken driving, but did act against former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema on a range of charges.

"If you take Jackson [Mthembu], he did not violate the ANC rules, he violated what you call public kind of rule, and the law enforcement dealt with that issue," said Zuma.

"Why should the ANC punish him again because that was dealt with in terms of the laws of the country?" he asked.

Mthembu was arrested on March 11, 2010, for driving drunk on the N2 in Cape Town. He was fined R12,000, of which R6000 was suspended for five years. He was also fined R500 for driving in a bus lane.

Zuma said the ANC did not treat some issues differently from others.

"It looks at the gravity of the issue and whatever consideration put there are structures that deal with these matters... and it has been very fair."

Zuma denied that action was taken against Malema only after he insulted Zuma, and not after he insulted former president Thabo Mbeki before the Polokwane conference.

Malema was charged in August last year with sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute, partly relating to comments about effecting regime change in Botswana and for comparing Zuma unfavourably to former president Mbeki. Malema was expelled from the ANC.

Zuma said that when he was removed from his position as deputy president in June 2005, the ANCYL insulted Mbeki, and he called it to order.

"I stood up in many public meetings to say it is never done. That is not allowed. You cannot do it. You cannot deal with the president in the manner you did."

He also dismissed claims that he had compared Malema to former ANC president Oliver Tambo.

"On the issue of Julius, where I said there was a leader in this young man, I did not compare him to Tambo. I said there was a potential of a leader in him.... I still hold the view in him [Malema] there is a leader."

Zuma said he was not in a position to discuss Malema further.

"Whatever Malema says, I do not think it will be fair to engage him.... I have decided that Malema must do what he thinks is good for him.... I think the ANC, not me Jacob Zuma, has engaged him in a process..."

He said it was Malema's own choice to question why charges against Zuma had been dropped.

"That is his view.... I do not want to engage in that issue."

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