Malema hearing in full swing

African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) President Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing got underway at the FNB Stadium in Nasrec, Johannesburg on Saturday with testimony from Human Settlements Minister and ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Tokyo Sexwale.

“I can confirm that he [Sexwale] is giving evidence at the moment,” ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

Khoza did not say if Sexwale’s evidence was for or against Malema but reports indicate the minister had appealed for mercy for the ANCYL president.

“When you are young you go wrong—we fix you and you go wrong again and we fix you, not to destroy you. You cannot destroy a league. So, when they are wrong, just correct them,” Sexwale said in Tsolo, Eastern Cape last weekend.

“This young man called Malema sometimes does things and speaks a lot. He sometimes lands himself in trouble. Thereafter [he] cries to us to retrieve him from the trouble he puts himself in ... We should not destroy him [Malema] ... Please don’t throw them away, they are too young.”

Sexwale said Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, a former league president, had grown in stature in the past five years.

“Look at him now. He made many mistakes as a youth. What would have happened had we destroyed him? We make a mistake and people say ‘let us destroy the individual’. No, no! It is not the way it should be,” Sexwale reportedly told a crowd at a heritage celebration.

Malema was present at the hearing on Saturday following his hospitalisation for flu symptoms in Polokwane earlier this month.

His hospital stay led to the hearing being postponed from October 6 to 8, to October 15. Proceedings began at the end of August with Saturday’s being the fifth sitting.

Khoza added that the hearing was being held at the stadium due to the availability of venues.

It was moved to an undisclosed location after Malema supporters clashed with police outside the ANC headquarters in the Johannesburg city centre when the hearing opened at the end of August.

It was adjourned again in September because some of the parties involved were unavailable.

Malema faces charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division within party ranks. The charge stems from Malema’s call in August for regime change in neighbouring Botswana which he said had a “puppet government” that was “in full cooperation with imperialists”.

Charged with him are ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi.

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