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Julius Malema’s attempts to be readmitted to the ruling party were dealt a blow on Monday as it was confirmed that efforts to raise the issue with the ANC national executive committee failed.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe confirmed the news on Monday, after weekend media reports said Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile failed to raise Malema’s expulsion with the ruling party’s highest decision making body.
“The matter was not brought up by the NEC. It can review the matter, but it is not an appeals body,” Mantashe told reporters at Luthuli house in Johannesburg.
Mantashe said that while the NEC is open to review decisions made by any body within the ANC, it is not bound to do so.
Malema’s expulsion from the ANC was ratified by the national disciplinary committee of appeals at the end of April. He was found guilty of sowing divisions within the ruling party.
This latest development counters Malema’s attempts to re-enter the ANC as a review of the expulsion by the NEC was seen as the next logical move for the young firebrand to find a way back into the party.
If Malema fails to be granted a formal review by the NEC of the disciplinary processes carried out against him, he would have to attempt to have his sentence quashed at the ANC’s Mangaung elective conference.
This would involve voting delegates at the conference tabling a motion to nullify all disciplinary charges against him.
Sources within the ANC have described Malema’s attempts to remain in the spotlight as “laughable”.
“He’s out and it’s final. There is no way back for him – whatever he tries to do,” a source, who requested anonymity, told the Mail & Guardian last week.
Despite the apparent setbacks, the ANC Youth League remains adamant that Malema is the victim of political persecution for articulating policy views of the youth body.
“Nothing has changed. We still believe Julius Malema is our president and we continue to engage the ANC in this regard,” league spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy told the M&G.