Malema vs ANC: Mitigation process to begin

Embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said on Sunday he had been informed by letter on Saturday that he, his secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu had to appear on Monday at 8am for the mitigation process with the ANC national disciplinary committee. He said the three had each been given two hours to argue in mitigation of their sentence.

Malema will face the disciplinary committee in a bid to have his five-year suspension for bringing the ANC into disrepute reduced.

At a closed session of the league’s three-day lekgotla on Sunday Malema told delegates that his opening speech on Friday would “be presented as aggravation tomorrow”.

This was according to video footage seen by the South African Press Association on Sunday.

In the opening address, Malema told delegates that any decision to fire him was the prerogative of the league and not the ANC. He also reiterated the league’s call for the nationalisation of mines, banks and monopolistic industries.

Last Saturday, the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals (NDCA) announced that attempts by Malema, Shivambu and four other league officials to have their suspensions overturned were dismissed. They were found guilty in November last year of bringing the ANC into disrepute and of sowing division in the party.

Malema was supposed to have a 14-day reprieve to argue for a lesser sentence.

‘Forced’ mitigation
Malema told the delegates that it had been previously agreed with the disciplinary committee that they would have three days to argue in mitigation of their sentences.

“You can see they [the disciplinary committee] are doing the mitigation because they are forced by the NDCA to do the mitigation. They don’t want to do it,” he said.

He urged the delegates to begin a “massive campaign” to “unban” the league and its leadership.

“You can say whatever you want to. The youth league is banned. It was banned the day we got charged. That is the day we got silenced,” Malema said.

He warned that anything he and youth league members said would be used against them.

He also warned that it was possible that by this coming Thursday “some of us may not be members of the ANC”.

Malema said he had told his grandmother that he expected to be back in Limpopo forever, because the proceedings of the disciplinary committee had “a predetermined outcome”.

“We are not going to come back suspended. We are going to come back expelled,” he said.

‘Weak ANC’
Meanwhile, the Star reported on Monday President Jacob Zuma said Malema thought the ANC was “weak” and he could do whatever he “wants to do”.

Zuma told the paper Malema was “immature”, and warned senior ANC leaders who “cross the line” by defending Malema.

“I don’t think he was in a position to understand how the ANC was acting, I think his understanding was that the organisation is weak, you can do whatever you want to do,” Zuma was quoted as saying.

“I think that’s why the ANC can no longer do what it did at the beginning because it needs to act, and act resolutely,” he said, referring to the party’s failure to enforce its previous sanctions, such as taking Malema for anger management classes.

Malema, Shivambu, and four other ANCYL officials were found guilty in November last year of bringing the ANC into disrepute and of sowing division within the party.

On February 4 the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals announced their attempts to have their guilty verdicts overturned had been dismissed. — Sapa

For more news and multimedia on ANC Youth League president Julius Malema view our special report.

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