Julius Malema and other ANC youth league leaders have been found guilty of ill-discipline for barging uninvited into a meeting of the ruling party’s top leaders.
Malema, ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were found guilty by the ANC’s national disciplinary hearing of ill-discipline and undermining ruling party leadership.
The youth league leaders were found guilty and each handed a sentence of a two-year suspension from the party. The sentence itself, was in turn suspended for three years.
Additionally league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute by publically condeming ANC national executive committee member and South Africa’s minister of public enterprises, Malusi Gigaba.
For this he was sentenced to an 18-month suspension from the party, which in turn was suspended for three years. He was also ordered to make a public apology to Gigaba within five days.
The announcement of the committee’s finding is still under way.
Floyd Shivambu ordered to vacate position
Spokesperson Shivambu was suspended and found guilty on several charges for swearing at a journalist, and for accusing the ruling party of associating with imperialists.
The sanction was not suspended.
Hanekom described Shivambu as defiant, arrogant and ill-disciplined.
His membership of the ANCYL was suspended for three years and he had to vacate his position as spokesman.
Shivambu was guilty of prejudicing the reputation of the African National Congress for swearing at a journalist, said Hanekom.
The first charges followed the league’s announcement earlier this year that it would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change in that country.
In the face of ANC outrage over what it said was a breach of its constitution, the youth league retracted the statement and apologised, but barged into a meeting of the ruling party’s leadership to press its case. The disciplinary process was begun soon thereafter.
Everything above board
Announcing the ANC’s national disciplinary committee’s decision, chairperson Derek Hanekom insisted the disciplinary process had been properly initiated and followed. He underscored the importance of discipline within the party as “non-negotiable”, and said the committee had rejected arguments, put forward by witnesses at the hearing — including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela — that the youth league was autonomous and independent from the ANC, its constitution and its processes.
Hanekom said the committee had also rejected suggestions that the disciplinary hearing might be used to settle political scores.
Malema’s first appearance before the ANC disciplinary committee took place at Luthuli House at the end of August. It was moved after violence erupted in the Johannesburg CBD.
Youth league members and supporters threw rocks, bottles and bricks at journalists and police, and burnt ANC flags and T-shirts bearing the image of President Jacob Zuma.
History of discipline
This is not Malema’s first time in front of the ANC’s disciplinary committee. In May last year, he was hauled over the coals for accusing President Jacob Zuma of being worse than former president Thabo Mbeki for berating him in public.
After a bungled prosecution, Malema was eventually ordered to apologise to Zuma, to pay a R10 000 fine, and was sent to a political school and to anger-management classes.
The national disciplinary committee at the time said should Malema be found guilty of provoking serious divisions or a break-down of unity in the organisation within the next two years, his ANC membership would be suspended
Out in force
A huge metro police contingent was deployed outside Luthuli House in central Johannesburg on Thursday morning, ahead the announcement of the hearing’s decision.
President and Sauer streets were closed for security reasons by 7am, said Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
“Our officers have been deployed to monitor the situation around Luthuli House,” said Minnaar.
“They will be there for the rest of the day,” he said. — Sapa, Staff reporter
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