Embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is contemplating taking legal action against the ANC after his party refused to withdraw his suspension.
In a letter sent to the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House and the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC), Malema’s lawyers said if their client’s suspension was not lifted by 2pm on Thursday they would consider instituting legal action against the ANC with immediate effect.
They have argued the “banning order” against Malema was in violation of the ANC’s constitution, the rules of natural justice and the South African Constitution.
In terms of the conditions set by the NDC on Malema’s suspension, he would not be able to attend any ANC meeting, including the ANC national executive committee, the party’s national working committee and Limpopo’s provincial executive committee. Malema is also barred from addressing any meeting of the ANC or the youth league.
“The NDC decision to impose the four conditions upon comrade Malema is invalid because the NDC is not empowered by the ANC constitution to impose any conditions upon him. Rule 25.12 (e) provides that such conditions can only be imposed “in the case of an elected public representative”, which, as you know, comrade Malema is not”.
The youth league’s lawyers also said that, “failing your positive response within the said timelines, he [Malema] will immediately cease to observe those unlawful and unconstitutional conditions”.
Malema’s lawyers further argued “the NDC as a body can not be the complainant, the instituting body and the adjudicating body all at the same time.
But on Thursday afternoon the ANC stood its ground and said it would not withdraw the suspension.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party would not lift the suspension against Malema.
Mthembu told the Mail & Guardian that the ANC had an attitude towards members who threatened legal action against the party, adding that they were prepared to go to war in defense of the suspension against Malema.
The NDC’s chairperson Derek Hanekom confirmed that the committee had, through its lawyer, responded to the letter sent to them by Malema’s lawyer on Wednesday but refused to comment further.
Meanwhile, Malema’s legal representatives have also written another letter to the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals (NDCA) requesting a postponement of the hearing scheduled for April 12.
In the letter, which the M&G has seen, the lawyers pleaded with NDCA chairperson Cyril Ramphosa for more time to complete the heads of arguments, saying that the records from the NDC — which had expelled Malema from the party — had been delivered to them late; and that, because of the lawyers’ busy schedules, there was not enough time to prepare for the hearing.
Ramaphosa told the M&G on Thursday: “The hearing was scheduled and takes place on April 12.”
He said after considering the complaints by Malema’s lawyers over the time constraints pertaining to the hearing, the committee had decided they would not oblige them with a postponement.
Malema is expected to attend the ANC Youth League’s national executive committee meeting on Monday.
Hanekom said the NDC would not do anything to Malema if he defied the order and participated in the meeting.
“We’ve done what we thought was appropriate. We can’t go beyond that,” he said.
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