Ahmed Areff, Frank Maponya and Chester Makana
IT’S game over for the ANC Youth League’s Julius Malema. He has been kicked out of the ANC, potentially sending him into the political wilderness. “Comrade Julius Malema is expelled from the ANC,” national disciplinary committee (NDC) chairman Derek Hanekom said late last night.
Malema has 14 days to appeal.
He reacted within minutes, saying in Limpopo that he accepted the ANC’s decision to expel him but had not given up hope.
The NDC said Malema’s evidence during his mitigation hearing showed he had “reneged on his membership oath and was not prepared to respect the ANC constitution”.
The committee added: “In the view of the NDC, comrade Malema’s misconduct of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division within its ranks is very serious.
“The ANC constitution demands that discipline be enforced without exception.
“The cumulative effect of comrade Malema’s past and present offences, coupled with his own evidence of lack of remorse and disrespect for the ANC constitution and its structures, particularly the NDC, has left no room for the NDC to consider his misconduct as anything but extremely serious.”
The ANC believed Malema was not prepared to accept the findings of the disciplinary process.
“With regard to comrade Malema’s plea not to have his membership taken away, the NDC believes that any period of suspension imposed as a sanction would not, as the complainant’s representative submitted, achieve the purpose of rehabilitating the comrade,” the NDC said.
“The NDC is of the view that if comrade Malema is not prepared to accept final decisions of the NDC, then the likelihood of him respecting the ANC constitution is remote.
“As the president of an organ of the ANC responsible for mobilising the youth behind the ANC, this … in the view of the NDC, constitutes a threat and is tantamount to holding the ANC to ransom.”
The ANC welcomed the findings.
“We call on our members and those of our leagues to respect this decision,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
Malema, who turns 31 this week, told more than 500 people who had gathered outside his grandmother’s house in Seshego Zone 1 in Limpopo that he had expected the decision, but had not given up hope.
“I am a soldier who is prepared to die in a battle. Even if I am expelled from the ANC my blood will remain black, gold and green.
“I am prepared to do blood tests to prove that.” He said the reason he had gone to Limpopo was to engage those people who had been camping outside his grandmother’s home for a month and pestering her with questions about what he would do next.
People started gathering outside as early as 2pm – more than seven hours before the expulsion was announced after a series of dramatic delays throughout the day.
Somewhere near the house, another group that was clearly anti-Malema was celebrating with fireworks and carrying a makeshift tombstone, inscribed “RIP Julius Malema”.
They said they were celebrating the “fall of a dictator”.
But political analyst Steven Friedman said: “The saga is still continuing – this is not the final word.
“The important point is that he [Malema] still has the right to appeal. People must be familiar with these processes.
“He is still a member of the ANC until the appeal process is complete.”
In other related actions, ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa’s membership was suspended for three years. He accused Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is also an ANC national executive committee member, of “pleasing imperialists” when he said the nationalisation debate was hurting foreign investment.
This sanction was suspended for three years, but would come into effect if he did not apologise to Gigaba.
League spokesman Floyd Shivambu’s membership of the youth league was suspended for three years.
“Consequently, he shall vacate his position as a member of the national executive committee of the ANC Youth League,” the disciplinary committee said.
He could appeal within 14 days.
Shivambu was found guilty for swearing at journalist Jacques Dommisse and for issuing a statement on bringing about regime change in Botswana. He argued that Dommisse had provoked him, but the committee rejected this.
Malema, Magaqa, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were also found guilty of disrupting an ANC meeting on August 8 2011.
The appeals committee threw out the guilty verdict for this charge. – Sapa