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ANC to young lions: Actually, how about we don't chat

Nickolaus Bauer

The ANCYL's call for a meeting with the ruling party to discuss disciplinary action against it has been met with a resounding "thanks, but no".

The African National Congress will not entertain requests by the youth league for a meeting with senior ruling party leaders.

On Sunday, league president Julius Malema renewed the youth body’s calls for a “political solution” to the continuing impasse with its mother body.

“Even if we are mad, the leaders of the ANC should listen to our madness,” Malema told a small group of supporters in Soweto on Sunday. “We have been writing to the ANC and will continue requesting a meeting to resolve this politically.”

Malema and several other leaders were suspended by the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) in November after being found guilty of sowing division within the ANC.

The outcome of the extended NDC process is expected soon, after the NDC appeals committee granted the youth league the right to argue in mitigation of their sentences.

The young lions wish to have the matter resolved politically (ie, outside of disciplinary channels) based on their assertion the charges laid against them were politically motivated.

But sources within the ruling party confirmed to the M&G on Monday that the ANC would not consider a meeting until disciplinary procedures had been finalised.

Officially, the ANC refused to comment on the meeting request.

“We would be violating disciplinary processes if we were to talk at this stage,” said ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza.

Professor Stephen Friedman, director at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, described the decision not to accede to a meeting with the youth league as a move to “protect the integrity” of the ruling party.

“If they were to pay attention to this request the ANC would turn into the laughing stock of the political world,” Friedman told the M&G.

Friedman also said it was “absurd” for the youth league’s leaders to think they could request a meeting with the ANC after “playing hardball” for so long.

“No one would take a court seriously if the judge decided to go out and have a coffee with the accused, with a view to finding a solution to the matter. Its simply ludicrous,” Friedman added.

For more news and multimedia on ANC Youth League president Julius Malema click here.


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